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BROMSGROVE CHURCH: 
Jts ^tstarg anir Antiquities 



WILLIAM A. COTTON. 




THE LIBRARY 
OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



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^vomsgrobc Cljurclj. 




North-A\'est View. 



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ITS HISTORY 8c ANTIQUITIES: 



WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE 



Sunba^ -f Schools, ♦^ Cburcbvai^, -^ an^ •^ Ccinctcrv, 



COMPILED FROM THE 



PARISH BOOKS. REGISTERS, AND OTHER AUTHENTIC SOURCES, 



WIIflilHM fi. C0TT0N. 



" OtU of Monuments, Names, Words, Proverbs, Traditions, Private Records and Evidences, 
Fragments of Stories, Passages of Works, and the like, U'e doe save and recover soine^i'hat from the 
deluge of Time.''' — Bacon'<; Akvancement of Learning. 



.SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO., .STATIONERS" MALL COURT. 

gromsjgrjo&jc : 

"MESSENGER" PUBLISHING COMPANY, ni(;il STREET. 

Price 7s. 6d. 



PREFACE. 



<rbC HUtbOr was tempted to undertake the task of compiling a History of 
Bromsgrove Church by the repeated soHcitation of many friends, and by having 
observed that no complete work on the subject, giving full particulars from the 
earliest period to the present time, not only of the structure, but also of all 
those who have been, or are, connected or associated with it, has yet been 
published. The task completed, he submits the result to the judgment of his 
readers, not without considerable diffidence, and yet with the hope that his labours 
have not been altogether unsuccessful, and that some, at least, of the incidents 
and facts which he has collected may be found to be original and interesting. 
That the facts contained in the work may be relied upon, the Author has no 
reason to doubt. His enquiries for information have met with such a ready 
response from the clergy, gentlemen, and others in possession of records, that he 
has been enabled to compare dates and figures with the originals, and to test fully 
the accuracy of nearly every statement made. For the assistance thus rendered, 
and for which he is so deeply indebted, he tenders grateful acknowledgments 
and thanks. 

All the old deeds and documents contained in this history have been carefully 
translated where necessary, and this the Author hopes will add to the general 
interest of the work. The plates are coj^ied from original drawings, and the 
woodcuts are engraved from photographs of the objects depicted, excei)t where 
otherwise mentioned. 

The Author gladly avails himself of this opportunity of thanking the noblemen, 
clergymen, ladies and gentlemen who have become subscribers for copies of the 
work, and have thus encouraged him in liis endeavour to make it as complete 
as possible. 

promsgrove, March, jSSi, 






^^•li^ gUB^CI^IBE^^. ^^^4^^ 



Abell, Mr. George E., Worcester. 

Albright, Mr. Arthur, Finstall. (2 copies.) 

Albutt, Mr. Henry, Bromsgrove. 

Amess, Mr. James, Bromsgrove. 

Andrews, Mr. Richard, Bromsgrove. 

Asinelli, Miss D., Westbourne House, Bromsgrove. 

Bainbrigge, Rev. J. H., B.A., The Vicarage, Finstall. 

Badley, Mr. Henry P., Insiton, Belbroughton. 

Baldwin, Mr. Alfred, Wilden House, Stourport. 

Barnett, Miss A. M., Finstall Vale, Bromsgrove. 

Barrett, Mr. Henry, The Lilies, Bromsgrove. 

Barham, Mr, F. F., The Clock House, Fockbury, Bromsgrove. 

Bayley, Mr. Charles H., A\'est Bromwich. 

Baylis, Mr. Alfred M., A\'orcester. 

Baylis, Mr. W. T., Bromsgrove. 

Bate, Mr. J., Belbroughton. 

Beauchamp, Right Hon. the Earl of, Madresfield Court. 

Bennett, Mr. Alfred, Bromsgrove. 

Bigv.-ood, Mr. Ernest J., The Linthurst. 

Billingham, Mr. T., Bromsgrove. 

Bindley, Mr. T. Herbert, Merton College, Oxford. 

Birbeck, Mr. C. H., 23, Foregate Street, Worcester. (3 copies.) 

Blick, Mr. John, Hill Court, Dodderhill. 

Blore, Rev. George, D.D., King's School, Cambridge. 

Bolam, Mr. H. G., Ingestre, Stafford. 

Bourne, Mr. Robert, J. P., Clrafton Manor, Bromsgrove. 

Bourne, Rev. Joseph G., M.A., Broome Rectory, Stourbridge. 

Bown, Mr. George, The Crescent, Bromsgrove. 

Brazier, Mr. Jonathan, Bromsgrove. 

Brazier, Mr. David, Stirchlcy Street, Birmingham. 

Brewster, Mrs. S., \Vestbourne House, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 



6323o>V' 



Erooke, Mr. V. S., Raglan House, Eromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Brown, Mr. J. F., Faulkner Street, (Gloucester. 

Brown, Mr. W,, Bromsgrove. 

Brydone, Mr. John, Field View, Stoke Prior. 

Burford, Mr. John, Ih'omsgrove. 

Burrows, Mr. George, Bromsgrove. 

Caddick, Mr. Edward, ^^'ellington Road, Edgbaston. 

Carey, Mr. Charles, Bromsgrove. 

Cashmore, Mr. ^y. \V., Handsworth Road, Birmingham. 

Clough, Mr. H., Stoney Hill, Bromsgrove. 

Coleman, Rev. Ernest E., Bromsgrove. 

Cohnore, Rev. W. H., M.A., The Vicarage, Moseley. 

Comber, Mr. W. C. A., Bromsgrove. 

Cooke, Miss Jane, Bromsgrove. 

Cook, Mr. Richard, Bromsgrove. 

Coombs, Mr. James, High Street, Worcester. (2 copies.) 

Corbett, Mr. John, M.P., Impney, Droitwich. 

Corbett, Mr. F., The Crescent, Worcester. 

Corbett, Mr. H., Fort Royal, Worcester. 

Corbett, Mr. W., The Crescent, Bromsgrove. 

Corbett, Mr. E., Chaddesley Corbett. 

Cordell, Mr. R., Bromsgrove. 

Cordell, Mr. J., Bromsgrove. 

Cossins, Mr. Jethro A., Unity Buildings, Temple Street, Birmingham. 

Cotton, Mrs. A., Westbourne House, Bromsgrove. (5 copies.) 

Cotton, Mr. John, Temple Row, Birmingham. (2 copies.) 

Cotton, Mr. E. B., Darlaston. 

Crawford, Mr. Oliver, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. 

Creswell, Mr. J. Nash, Bromsgrove. 

Curtler, Rev. Thomas G., M.A., Bevere Knoll, AA'orcester. 

Curtler, Mr. Martin, Lansdowne, Worcester. 

Davenport, Rev. James, B.A., Alcester. 

Day, Mrs., Davenal House, Bromsgrove. 

Day, Mr. Ernest A., The Lilacs, St. George's Square, Worcester. 

Deakin, Mrs. S., ^^'oodcote Manor, Bromsgrove. 

Dipple, Miss, Bromsgrove. 

l)ip[)le, Mr. Altered, Bromsgrove. 



Dixon, Miss, Stoke Trior Grange, Brumsgrovc-. 

Dixon, Mr. Thomas, Stoney Lane, Tardebigge. 

Dodd, Mr. W., Bromsgrove. 

Douglas, Rev. ^V. W., M.A., Salwarpe Rectory, Droitwich. 

Downing, Mr. AVilliam, 74, New Street, Birmingham. (3 copies.) 

Drury, Mrs. M. A., Bromsgrove. 

Dunn, Mrs., Fairfield House, Bedminster, Bristol. 

Dunn, Rev. Oliver J., LL.B., DarUngton Street, Wolverhampton. 

Eaton, Rev. Canon, M.A., The Rectory, Alvechurch. 

Eaton, Mr. W. H., Stoney Hill, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Edwards, Mr. Thomas, Chapel Street, Bromsgrove. 

EUingworth, Mr. Charles, Bromsgrove. 

Emmott, Miss A. S., Badsey Vicarage, near Evesham. 

Evans, Mr. C, Bromsgrove. 

Everitt, Mr. W. E., J.P., Finstall House, Bromsgrove. 

Everitt, Mr. Allen E., City Chambers, Birmingham. 

Fawke, Mr. \Valter, Bromsgrove. 

Field, Mr. Charles, Bristol. 

Fitch, Mr. J. W., Bromsgrove. 

Fowler, Mr. Edward, Abberley, Edgbaston. 

Gardner, Mr. John, Finstall, Bromsgrove. 

Gibson, Mr. G. W., Bromsgrove. 

Godsall, Mr. A. H., Bromsgrove. 

Goodwin, Rev. John, M.A., The Parsonage, Bromsgro\e Lickey. 

Gosling, Mr. F. N., Worcester. 

Green, Mr. John, Whitford Hall, Bromsgrove. 

Gray, Mr. George, Bromsgrove. 

Grey, Mr. Thomas, Bromsgrove. 

Guest, Mr. T., Rock Hill, Bromsgrove. 

Hadley, Mr. Enoch, Barnsley Hall, Bromsgrove. (3 copies.) 

Haines, Mr. J. J., Bromsgrove. 

Haines, Mr. T., Bromsgrove. 

Halliday, Mrs. A., ^^'est \'iew, Torqua}'. 



SUDSCRIBEKS. 

Harper, Mrs. E., The Crescent, Bromsgrove. 

Harris, Mr. Thomas, Stoney Lane, Tardebigge. (2 copies.) 

Harriss, Mr. John, Hill End, Droitwich. 

Harrison, Rev. C. F., The Vicarage, Llangynllo 

Harrison, Rev. A. R., M.A., The College, Stratford-on-Avon. 

Harrison, Mr. \\., Worcester Road, Bromsgrove. 

Hartle, Mr. H., Bromsgrove. 

Harvey, Mrs. J., Charford, Bromsgrove. 

Harvey, Mr. Samuel, The Shrubbery, ^^'alsall. 

Henderson, Mr. J. A., Alvechurch. 

Hitchman, Mr. John, 2, Cherry Street, Birmingham. (2 copies.) 

Hill, Mr. T. Rowley, M.P., Worcester. 

Hill, Mr. Jos., Birmingham. 

Hill, Mr. W., Bromsgrove. 

Hobbiss, Mr. W. H., Masbro' Road, London, W. 

Hobbiss, Mr. T. P., Bromsgrove. 

Hobbiss, Mr. H. I., Saltley College, Birmingham. 

Hobbiss, Mr. A. J., Bromsgrove. 

Holl, Dr. Harvey B., F.G.S., Worcester. 

Holland, Mr. "Walter, Rose Hill, Worcester. 

Holt, Mr. James, Bromsgrove. 

Holyoake, Mr. John, Droitwich. 

Holyoake, Mr. W., Bromsgrove. 

Horniblow, Mr. C. S., Catshill. 

Horton, Mr. J. R., The Oaklands, Upton Warren, Bromsgrove. 

Hoult, Mr. C. F., Stourport. 

Humphreys, Mr. John, Bromsgrove. 

Humphreys, Mr. E. H., Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Humphreys, Mr. E. G., Stratford-on-Avon. 

Humphreys, Mr. C, Bromsgrove. 

Hunt, Mr. George, Stoke Prior. 



Ince, Mr. T. E., Bromsgrove. 

Jefferies, INIr. William, Bromsgrove. 
Jeffrey, i*Ir. William, Bromsgrove. 
Johnson, Miss E., Fernleigh, Bromsgrove. 
Jones, Mr. Joseph, Park Hall, Bromsgrove. 



SUnSCRIBER?, 

Keep, Mr. Kenaz, Bromsgrovc. 
Kidd, Rev. J., The Vicarage, CatshilL 
King, Mr. J., Glenthorne Villa, Bromsgrove. 



Lacy, Mr, George, Warwick. 

Langford, Dr. J. A., Gladstone Road, S])arkl)rook, Birmingham. 

Laughton, Mr. James, Bromsgrove. 

Lawrence, Rev. J. R., B.A., Offord Cluny Rectory, Huntingdon. 

Lea, Miss M. F., The Rookery, Feckenham. 

Lea, Mr. James, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Ledbury, Mr. W., Bromsgrove. 

Ledbury, Mr, W. R., Bromsgrove. 

Lee, Mr. Samuel, Small Heath, Birmingham. 

Leigh, Hon. and Rev. Canon, ALA., The Vicarage, Leamington. 

Levens, Mr. P., Bromsgrove. 

Lewis, Mr. H. W., Rock Hill, Bromsgrove. 

Llewellin, Mr. W., Bromsgrove. 

Lloyd, Mr. James Vv"., Kington, Herefordshire. 

Lowe, Mr. C., Broad Street Corner, Birmingham. 

Lowe, Mr. Henry, Cannon Street, Birmingham. (3 copies.) 

Lucas, Mr. Joseph, Bromsgrove. 

Lyttelton, Right Hon. Lord, Hagley Hall. 

Marcus, Mr. F., Albany House, AVorcester. 

Massey, Hon. and Rev. A. H. T., M.A., The Vicarage, All Saints, Bromsgrove. 

Mason, Mr. R. C, Bromsgrove. 

Milman, Mr. C. B., Lower Mitton, Stourport. 

JNIilton, Miss M., Primrose Cottage, Grimley, "Worcester. 

Milton, Mr. Joseph, Bromsgrove. 

Milton, Mr. W. B., Small Heath, Birmingham. 

Milton, Mr. C. J., Bromsgrove. 

Milward, Mr. R. H., J. P., Highfield House, The Linthurst. 

More-Molyneux, Mrs. A. S., Bishop's Lodge, Compton, Guildford. (2 cojiies.) 

Murray, Rev. Canon, M.A., The Vicarage, Bromsgrove. 

Nealc, Mr. J. W., Monsieur's Hall, Bromsgrove. 

Newbold, Mr. T., AVorcester Road, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 



SUnSCRIP.F.RP. 

NichoUs, Mr. G., A\'illo\v Terrace, Bromsgrovc. 
Nock, Mrs. E., Lickcy End, Bromsgrove. 
Nowell, Mr. R. H., Bromsgrove. 

Parry, Mr. T. A., Tlie Woodrow, Bromsgrove. 

Parry, Mr. J. S., The Laurels, Catsliill, Bromsgrove. 

Parry, Mr. Walter, The Crescent, Bromsgrove. 

Parsonage, Mr. Joseph, Bromsgrove. 

Partridge, Mr. W., The Grammar School, Alvechurch. 

Partridge, Mr. John, High House, Burcot. 

Penn, Mr. Thomas, Bromsgrove. 

Perks, Mr. Edwin, Bromsgrove. 

Pike, Mr. W. G., 3, Britannia Square, Worcester. 

Popplewell, Mr. F., The Elms, Wychbold, Droitwich. 

Porter, Mr. Paxton, Midland Institute, Birmingham. 

Prosser, Mr. Roger, Bromsgrove. 

Price, Miss S., Ardwick, Manchester. 

Rhoades, Mr. W., Charford Lodge, Bromsgrove. 
Richardson, Mr. A. H., Rose Villas, Bromsgrove. 
Roper, Mr. Dan, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 
Rose, Mr. J. W., The Cemetery Lodge, Bromsgrove. 
Rowland, Mr. Edward, Bryan Offa, Wrexham. 

Sanders, Mr. Thomas Tudor, Bromsgrove. 

Sanders, Mr. Thomas, Promenade, Cheltenham. (3 copies.) 

Sanders, Mr. B. H., The Steps, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Sanders, Mr. James, Street Court, Kingsland, Herefordshire. 

Saunders, Mr. W. L., Wakefield. 

Saywell, Mr. S., M.A., The College School, Bromsgrove. (2 copies.) 

Scott, Mr. T., The Shrubbery, Bromsgrove. 

Scroxton, Mrs. J. H., Raleigh Villa, Bromsgrove. 

Seymour, Miss M. A., Bromsgrove. 

Shaw, Mr. David, St. John's House, Worcester. 

Silvester, Mr. T. B., West Bromwich. 

Simmons, Mr. W. R., Bromsgrove. 

Simms, Mr. John, Bromsgrove. 

Smallwood, Mr. Robert, T-P-, Rigby Hall. Bromsgrove. 



SULSCRIDLRS. 

Smith, Rev. Prebendary I. Gregory, M.A., Malvern House, Great Malvern. 

Smith, Mr. Edwin, Elvetham Road, Birmingham. 

Smith, Mr. Edward, Bromsgrove. 

Smith, Mr. J. A., Bromsgrove. 

Snell, Mr. T., Bromsgrove. 

Spencer, Mr. H., The Weights, Redditch. 

Stanley, Mr. Moses, Addison Street, Nottingham. 

Stanton, Mr. G. K., Windsor Place, Bromsgrove. 

Steedman, Mr. C. B., Bromsgrove. 

Stone, Mr. George, Bromsgrove. 

Talbot, Right Hon. Lord Edmund, lo, Eaton Terrace, London, S.W, 

Taylor, Mr. Henry, Blackwell. 

Taylor, Mr. W. G., Charford, Bromsgrove. 

Taylor, Mr. G. E., Finstall, Bromsgrove. 

Temple, Sir Richard, The Nash, Kempsey, Worcester. 

Thomas, Mr. T. D., Stourbridge. (2 copies.) 

Thorn, Rev. W., Ivy Gate, ^^'orcester. 

Timmins, Mr. Samuel, Elvetham Lodge, Birmingham. 

Tomson, Mr. James John, Barnt Green House, Lickey. 

Townsend, Mr. E. J., Bromsgrove. 

Tirbutt, Mr. J. B., Albert Cottage, Bromsgrove. 

Turton, Mr. F. W., Bromsgrove. 

Turton, Mr. A. M., Bromsgrove. 

Twemlow, Mrs. R., Alvechurch. 

Udall, Mr. R. J., B.A., I'he College School, Bromsgrove. 
Unite, Mr. G. R., Blackwell Court. 

Veal, Mr. John, Fockbury, Bromsgrove. 
Vernon, Mr. H. F., J. P., Hanbury Hall, Droitwich. 
Verrinder, Miss F. M., St. John's, Worcester. 
Verrinder, Mr. H. D., ^V'olverhampton. 

Wall, Mr. H. G., Bromsgrove. 

Ward, Mr. Edwin, Aston, Birmingham. 

Ward, Mr. W., Bromsgro\-e. 

Watson, Rev. George William, 15. A., Bromsgrove. (3 copies.) 



SUBSCRIl!i:Rb. 



Watt, Mr; Francis, J. P., Penally, Tenby. 

Watton, Mr. Josiah, Bromsgrove. 

Weaver, Mr. William, Bromsgrove. 

White, Mr. Thomas, The Newlands, Bromsgrove. 

Whitfield, Mr. H. S., Bromsgrove. 

Wilden, Mr. C, Stoney Hill, Bromsgrove. 

Williams, Rev. Arthur Garnons-, B.A., Bromsgrove. 

Williams, Mr. Charles, Moseley Lodge, IMoseley. 

Willis, Mr. S., Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove. 

Willis, Mr. Jabez, Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove. 

Wilson, Mr. J. B., Bromsgrove. 

Wilson, Mr. J. T., Bromsgrove. 

Wilson, Mr. James, 35, Bull Street, Birmingham. (2 copies.) 

Witheford, Mr. Benjamin, Hanover House, Bromsgrove. 

Worcester, Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of, Hartlebury Castle. 

Worthington, Mr. Thomas, Broomfield Gables, Alderley Edge, Cheshire. 

Wood, Mr. Richard, Bromsgrove. 

Wright, Mr. Charles, Bromsgro^■e. 

Wright, Mr. Henry, Brom.sgro->-e. 



p^ccfp;@i^#l^)^^fe^ 




INDEX. 



Pace 



Introduction ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3 

Architectural Detail.s ... ... ... ... ... ... 6 

Restoration of the Church ... ... ... ... ... ... 10 

Pews and Seats ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 19 

Pulpit, Lectern, &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25 

Font, Reredos, &ic. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 27 

Windows ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 28 

Lighting and Heating ... ... ... ... ... ... 34 

Musical Services, Choir, Organ, Organist, cS:c. ... ... ... 35 

Alms, Offertory, Churchwardens, &c. ... ... ... ... 37 

Library ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 39 

Charities at the Disposal of the Vicar and Churchwardens 42 

Belfry ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 46 

Clock and Chimes ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 53 

Arms and Monuments ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 56 

Churchyard ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 86 

Tombs and Gravestones ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 89 

P-vfronage of the Church ... ... ... ... ... ... 107 

Vicars of Bromsgrove ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 117 

Clerks and Sextons ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 121 

Registers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ••• 133 

Vicarage ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 139 

Sunday School ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ••• ^39 

Ce.\i):tery ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 152 



INDEX TO PLATES, 



Page. 
Plate I. — South Side of Church ... ... ... ... •■■ 8 

11. — Monument — Mr. George Lytelton ... ... ... 56 



III. „ Sir Humphrey Stafford and his Wife, ( 

Eleanor ... ... ... ••• * 



61 



,, IV. — ^Details of last-mentioned ... ... ... ... 62 

„ V. — Monument — Sir John Talbot and his two Wives ... 71 

„ VI. — Panel — Side of Stafford Tomb ^ 

,, Side of Talbot Tomb ... ... ... /■ 72 

„ Side of Tomb in Chancel ... ... ••• ) 

„ VII. — Monument — Elizabeth, Wife of Sir Gilbert Talbot"^ 

Head-dress — Margaret, Wife of Sir John Talbot ... 



75 



Elizabeth, Second Wife of Sir John 
Talbot ... 



„ VIII. — Two Gravestones in Churchyard 92 

„ IX. — Map of Bromsgrove Churchyard in 1848 107 

,, X. — View of Cemetery Lodge, Bromsgrove ... ... ... 154 

INDEX TO WOODCUTS. 



Page. 

Old Lich Gate, Bromsgrove Churchyard ... ... ... ... 5 

Interior of Church ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 19 

Old Oak Lectern, with Bishop Jewel's Works attached ... ... 26 

Ancient Stone Effigy, in Churchyard ... ... ... ... 81 

Raised Cross Slab, in Churchyard ... ... ... ... ... 90 

Old Tithe Barn 112 

Vicarage House ... ... ... ... ... ... ■•• ■■• ^39 



B ROMS GROVE CHURCH: 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES 



"The pile 

Was large and massy, for duration built ; 

With pillars crowded, and the roof upheld 

By naked rafters intricately cross'd. 

Like leafless underboughs in some thick grove. 

All wither'd by the depth of shade above. 

The floor 

Of nave and aisle, in unpretending guise. 

Was occuiDied by oaken benches ranged 

In seemly rows ; the chancel only show'd 

Some inoffensive marks of earthly state 

And vain distinction. .... 

And marble monuments were here display'd 

Upon the walls ; and on the floor beneath 

Sepulchral stones appear'd, with emblems graven, 

And foot-worn epitaphs, and some with small 

And shining effigies of brass inlaid." 

JVords'voiili. 




|HE Parish Church of Bromsgrove is a noble structure, of very graceful 
and dignified proportions, built of local sandstone, and situated on a 
beautiful and commanding eminence on the western side of the town ; it 
consists of a chancel, vestry on the north side, nave with clerestory, aisles, and western 
tower and spire. It is dedicated to St. John the Baptist,* whose statue, between 
those of St. Peter and St. Paul, is placed in a recess on the western face of the 
tower, Mr. Noake, in his " Notes and Queries for Worcestershire," says : "Above 
the western window of St. John's Church, Bromsgrove, are three figures of the full 
size of life, said to represent St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Blessed Virgin. They are 
in a good state of preservation, although they have, no doubt, been there 450 years, 



* This day commemorates the birth of the Baptist, as Christmas does that of Christ. Dolh 
events are veiled in equal uncertainty ; but the former is known to have preceded the latter Ijy six- 
months, and is accordingly held June 24th. In the year 506 this day was received among the great 
feasts of the Church, like Easter, Christmas, and other festivals ; and was celebrated with ctjual 
solemnity and in much the same manner, 



4 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

and very likely escaped mutilation at the Reformation from the great height they are 
from the ground ; for the window is one of the highest, if not tJie highest, of all the 
western church windows in the county." Dr. Nash, the historian of AVorcestershire, 
who saw the figures when in a much more perfect state than they now are, deems 
the central figure to represent St. John the Baptist, with SS. Peter and Paul 
on either side. A spectator carefully observing the figures, will perceive that the one 
on his left hand (or in the north niche) is intended for St. Peter, the figure holding 
in the right hand the remains of what are evidently intended for two keys, and 
in the left hand an open book. The face has something of a feminine aspect, 
unlike the bearded representations of the apostle usually met with, and the 
sculptured keys held in the hand may have been mistaken by a cursory observer 
for lilies, thus inducing a sui)position that the figure represented the Virgin. The 
figure on the observer's right hand (or in the south niche) is that of a man holding a 
long straight sword in his right hand, and in his left what seems an open book, and 
it is certainly intended for St. Paul. The centre figure is bearded, like the former 
one, clothed in a scanty manner, with a girdle round his waist, and bearing on 
his left arm the remains of what appears to have been the image of a lamb, thereby 
betokening, according to ancient symbolism, St. John the Baptist, clothed in camel's 
skin, and placed as patron saint in the post of honor between St. Peter and St. Paul, 
the great bulwarks of the Church. The festival of St. John the Baptist, the 24th of 
June, is still associated with the Midsummer fair day,* and a fair was also formerly 
held on August 29th, being the decollation of the Baptist. A writer in the 
Bromsgrove Messenge?; observes of these statues, that " although weather-worn, grey, 
and lichen-grown, they bear evident traces of the old Gothic carver's skill ; the artistic 
arrangement of the drapery on the figures, their good proportion and gracefully 
efifective attitudes, so well adapted to the height at which they are placed, attest 
the proficiency of the sculptor who hewed them." 

It is impossible, after the lapse of so many years, to say with any degree of 
certainty from whence the stone was quarried with which the church was built, 
but, as stone of the same description abounds in the immediate neighbourhood, 
it would be unreasonable to suppose that it was conveyed from any great distance. 
There is, however, some ground for believing, that as great difficulty was experienced 
in obtaining good foundations upon which to build the National Schools (the site 

* Among the medixval Christians, upon any extraordinary solemnity, particularly the 
anniversary dedication of a church, tradesmen were wont to bring and sell their wares even in the 
churchyards, which practice continued especially upon the festivals of the dedication. The custom 
was kept up till the reign of Henry VI. A great many fairs were kept at these festivals of 
dedication, but the great gatherings of people being often the occasion of riots and disturbances, the 
privilege of holding a fair was restricted to those granted by Royal charter. King John granted a 
market to Bromsgrove and fairs on Midsummer day and the first of October, 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES, ij 

being what is generally termed " made ground "), some of the stone may have 
been quarried on the spot where the schools stand. 

The church is approached at the west end, from the Kidderminster Road, by 
Adams' Hill (so called because Captain Adams lived at Perry Hall, which is situated 
at the foot of the hill) ; at the east end from Church Street, through Crown Close ; on 
the north side from Sidemoor and the Cemetery ; and on the south-east side from the 
street bearing the name of its patron saint, by a flight of 48 stone steps, at the top 
of which are the remains of an old lich gate,* with the date of its erection — 1656 — 

inscribed on the cross beam. The steps 
were repaired August, 1839; and on 
October 7th, 1861, at a meeting of the 
Bromsgrove Local Board, Mr. Henry 
Hill's contract of ;^io2 "for the making 
of the church steps," was accepted. On 
the 6th of January following, Mr. William 
Cotton, the surveyor employed, reported 
to the Board that Hill had performed the 
" church steps " contract satisfactorily, 
and that the contractor was entitled to 
receive ;i{^i28, including extras, the 
amount due to him. It was decided 
that payment should be made out of 
the owners' rate. The old worn steps 
were carted to the New Buildings. It 
was at this time that the steps were 
reduced in number from 63 to 48, and 
that the double gates which were at the 
top were removed. 
The tower and spire are 19S feet high, and standing on a majestic position, 
become "a landmark for all the country round." The length of the edifice is 13S 
feet, and the breadth 77 feet, the whole forming, as Nash says, "one of the 
completest buildings in this county." 




* This gate is mentioned in "Stones of the Temple" as l:)eing amongst the most interesting of the 
ancient lich gates still remaining. 



IJKOiMSGROVL; chukch : 




[N Domesday Book mention is made of a church and a priest at Bromsgrove, 
but if any portion of the foundation or walling of the present church 
formed part of that referred to, it is now impossible to identify it. The 
architectural details of the building, however, indicate sufficiently the periods at 
which the various recognized parts of the church were erected, and illustrate the 
changes that have from time to time taken place in its structural history. The most 
ancient portions of the church now distinguishable are the north and south door- 
ways ; these are of the late Norman period, and were probably built early in the 
latter half of the 12th century. They are, however, very poor specimens, as the 
Norman builders usually bestowed much pains and artistic skill in ornamenting with 
elaborate sculpture and mouldings the entrances to churches erected by them. 

The arch on the north side nearest the chancel is apparently of later date than 
the doorways, " although (if, as is asserted, it has been accurately restored), from the 
Norman character of its impost or abacus mouldings, and peculiar features in 
portions of the carving of the corbels, it would appear to have been executed 
before the chancel arch, and before the other portions of the north arcade were 
executed." — Vide letter in the Bromsgrove Messenger before quoted from. It is of 
Transitional character, merging into the Early English style, and dates towards the 
close of the 12th century. 

To the Lancet, First Pointed, or Eariy English style, roundly termed 13th 
Century GotJiic, may be ascribed : — 
The chancel arch. 
The three western arches on the north side of the nave, "which are amongst 

the most attractive features of the church, the capitals of the piers 

exhibiting great depth of moulding, beauty of profile, and consequent 

grace of light and shade." 
(The narrow arch adjoining is modern, being erected at the restoration of 

the church, in place of two semicircular openings of a very nondescript 

character. ) 
The small arch on the south side beside the great chancel arch. 
The west doorway, which appears to have been preserved and inserted in the 

later work of the tower. 
The east window of the south aisle. 



ITS tHii-tdHV AND AMIQUi'ilES. 7 

The great east window of the chancel, with five lancets under one arch, the 
spandrils being pierced so as to let the light be seen through them. This 
marks the origin of tracery in window heads. 

The three side windows in the chancel which were opened at the restoration 
of the church. These appear of rather later date, exhibiting some of the 
characteristics of the Decorated style, which followed. 

The south wall and buttresses (and probably the north wall), though the 
masonry has been much disturbed by the subsequent insertion of windows 
of the 15 th century date, and the addition of a parapet in the then 
prevailing style. 

The beautiful trefoil-headed piscina, with shelf, in the south aisle. The position 
of this piscina would indicate the existence of a chapel and altar here 
in early times. Some years ago the piscina was moved a short distance 
from its former position to admit of the lowering of the window-sill ; after 
its removal a pair of folding doors and a hasp were put to it by Joseph 
Rose, sexton at that time, but these have been taken away. 

Other parts of the church may have been of Early EngUsh character ; but the 
indications of it that have survived successive changes and the waste of age 
are but few. It is probable that the nave was, at this period, covered by a 
high pitched roof, traces of the drip stone being still plainly visible on the 
tympanum, or flat wall, over the chancel arch, and likewise on the 
corresponding part of the east wall of the tower. 

To the Decorated or Second Pointed style, prevailing during the 14th century — 

The windows on each side of the north door ; that on the west is original ; 
that on the east was restored so as to correspond with it, the base, the 
mullions, and the mouldings of the jambs, where not mutilated, showing 
clearly that the two had at one time been exactly the same. 

The tracery of the north and south windows of the tower, which appear to 
have been preserved and inserted into the later work, in the same way as 
was the western doorway. There is a window at Dorchester church, 
Oxfordshire, with tracery extremely similar, stated to have been executed as 
early as 1275. 

The vestry is also ascribed to the commencement of this style, although 
Dr. CoUis notes it as belonging to the Perpendicular period. 

Generally speaking there is comparatively little work of this style in the church. 

To the Perpendicular or Third Pointed style, called also isth Century Gothic — 
The south arcade. 
The ten windows of the clerestory and the oak roof of the nave. 



8 BROMSGROVE CHURCH ; 

The east and west windows of the north aisle ; the latter being an excellent 

specimen of this style. 
The windows of the south aisle (except that at the east end), and square- 
headed windows in north aisle. 
The south porch. 
" The manner in which the south side is broken up by the projecting porch, and 
elegant and somewhat singular bay window, with the exquisite long-muUioned and 
transomed tracery of the square-headed adjoining windows, is picturesque and 
beautiful in the extreme." — Vide letter in Messenger before referred to. (Plate i.) 
The tower, with its fine west window and majestic octagonal spire. The tower 
is of three stages, with an embattled parapet, and is relieved on the belfry 
stage with panelling and niches, the spire above springing from within the 
parapet that crowns the tower. 
The four-centered arch near the organ, with its ribbed roof and bosses at the 
intersections, is of debased Perpendicular or Tudor character, and dates towards 
the close of the 15th or the commencement of the i6th century. 

A splendid rich oak roof of this style, with moulded beams, eighteen inches in 
thickness, resting on brackets of carved angels, was condemned in 18 14, taken down, 
and sold for firewood ! Had it been repaired instead of being destroyed, it might 
have served for a model for the ceiling of the south aisle. A flat lath-and-plaster 
ceiling of the meanest description was put up instead. 

The architectural particulars are chiefly gleaned from a pamphlet published by 
the late Rev. J. D. Collis, D.D., when the church was re-opened after restoration, 
and from consultation with the author's brother, Mr. John Cotton, architect, of 
Birmingham, 

No additions have been made to the stone work of the church, probably, since 
the Reformation, 

There was a south gallery in existence at the time of the restoration, but the 
exact date of erection cannot be ascertained. It was enlarged and re-arranged in 
1824, and the church ordered to be "whitewashed." It was also "resolved that the 
workmen in the church have los. to spend." 

On December 6th, 1765, at a vestry meeting, it was "Agreed upon as under that 
whereas William Green with is Servants and Workman have Clandestinatly began to 
Erect a Loft in the North Isle of Bromsgrove Church without the Consent of the 
parishoners and which will be very prejudiciall to some of the Inhabitants of the said 
Parish. And whereas the Present Churchwardens have commenced a prosecution 
against them in the Ecclesiastical Court of the Bishop of Worcester in order to 
prevent their proceedings and erecting the said Gallery Now we Do hereby agree 
that John Willson John Chellingworth Thos. Suffield and John Brace the present 



Plate 1 




ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 9 

church Wardens shall be paid and Reimbursed all the charge trouble and expense 
that they shall be put unto in the aforesaid prosecution against the said ^^'illiam 
Green and others." 

There is this note at the foot of the resolution in another handwriting : '•'•False 
Gra??vnar" '■^ Signed l>y 7iol>ody." 

A north gallery was erected in 1768, at which time the heads of three of the 
windows in the north wall were cut out, all the tracery destroyed, and iron rods, in 
continuation of the mullions, run up nearly to the wall jjlate, in order to throw 
"more light into the new gallery." 

The bellringers' floor was formerly much lower, being so placed as to bisect the 
west window, the upper part of which lit the belfry and the lower part lit the 
children's gallery, situated in the basement of the tower. 

The organ loft, erected in 1756, occupied one bay of the nave arcading, 
completely excluding the tower from the interior. There was an entrance to this 
gallery from the south front, under the window west of the porch, by a doorway of 
the most execrable description. The lowering of the window to its present level has 
happily destroyed all vestige of this extraordinary arrangement. 

In 16S4. It is agreed to give Thos. Britton ^£2 los. per year to keep the lead 
on the church in good repair during his life, and to new cast two sheets every year to 
the same weight as the old ones. 

In 1769. The south aisle was "repaired and new leaded." 

Attached to one of the sheets of lead on the roof of the north aisle of the 
church is a brass plate, bearing the following inscription : — 

Bromsgrove 
This sheet of lead was used as a pan 

under an ox which was roasted near 

the Market Hall in this Place on the 

loth day of June, 18 14, in commemoration 

of peace. 

Churchwardens 
John Bell William Palmer 

William ^Vard Thomas Wright 

This north side of the church was 
new timbered, leaded and repaired 
Anno Domini 18 14 

By Thomas Edwards, Builder 
Richard Brown, Plumber 
Thomas Bateman, Architect, Birmingham, 



IP DROMSGROVE CHURCH : 




UCH of the following history of the restoration is taken from the 
pamphlet published by the Rev. Dr. Collis, shortly after the re-opening 
of the church, which took place on Thursday, January 27th, 1859. 

"A meeting was held in January, 1843, the then vicar, the Lord Bishop of 
Rochester, being in the chair, to take into consideration how increased accommodation 
for the poor could be obtained. A committee was formed, and a plan was submitted 
by Mr. Henry Day, of Worcester, for re-pewing a great part of the floor, with seats 
of deal upon a uniform plan. It was not then proposed to do anything for the 
restoration of the building, or to alter the galleries. The entire expense was 
estimated at ^800, towards which the Diocesan Church Building Society voted 
;^i8o, and the Incorporated Society ^100. The issue of a faculty for these changes 
was successfully opposed ; and the project, happily, fell to the ground. The whole 
arrangement was, at best, a compromise, and a palliation of existing deficiencies ; I 
have no hesitation in saying that had it been carried out, it would have spoiled the 
church, and for many years delayed its proper restoration. It was not, of course, the 
architect's fault, that the cost was limited to so small a sum. 

" When the present vicar, the Rev. William Villers, came to the parish, to which 
he was appointed in 1846, one of the very first projects that he set on foot was the 
restoration of the church. 

" In 1848, a second committee was formed — and plans, on a much more enlarged 
scale than those of 1844, were prepared by Mr. Henry Day. It was then proposed 
to re-pew the entire floor, to lengthen the north gallery ; to re-construct, in one large 
arch, the semi-Norman arch on the north side, and the two semi-circular openings 
next to it ; and likewise to continue the south aisle nearly as far as the east wall of 
the chancel, so as to provide 100 sittings for the pupils and others connected with the 
Grammar School, to be called ' King Edward's Chapel,' for the erection of which I 
undertook to raise or contribute ;!^5oo. To this plan it was objected that it would 
make the church, already a difficult one for clergymen to read and preach in, far too 
large ; it was also thought, by some persons, unadvisable (to say the least of it) that 
any particular portion should be assigned to the Grammar School. Whatever the 
motive of the opposition, it was effectual ; the faculty was never applied for, and 
the church remained as it was, till a better feeling arose towards the close of 1856. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTlgUITlES. II 

"In May, 1S50, despairing of any immediate prospect of improvement in the 
church, I commenced collecting funds for building a chapel for the Grammar School, 
the first stone of which was laid on the 1 9t]i of June, and the building opened for 
Divine service, under license from the Bishop of Worcester, on the 22nd of 
November, 1850. It has cost, from first to last, ^1100, including the stained-glass 
windows, which are all gifts presented since 1853. 

" Finding that the vicar and churchwardens were, about September, 1S56, 
seriously beginning to moot the question of the restoration of the church, I ventured 
to write a letter to them, touching upon the various i^oints which seemed to require 
alteration and amendment in the church, and suggesting the desirableness of getting 
the opinion of some eminent London architect (I named Mr. George Gilbert Scott, 
as the person at the head of his profession), whose large experience might point out 
the best method of accomplishing the object so much desired by all. 

" Shortly after, it was determined to lay the matter before the parishioners — and a 
meeting was accordingly held in the Town Hall, on December 4th, 1856, at which 
a committee was nominated. 

" Mr. G. G. Scott examined the church on the 17th of December, and sent in a 
report on its then state, and on the best method of restoring it. 

"Mr. Scott's plan was sanctioned at a parish meeting, held on April 15th, 1857. 

" In August, 1857, Mr. W. M. Cooper, of Normanton "Works, Derby, obtained 
the contract for carrying the restoration into effect. 

" He took possession of the church on January 4th, 1858, and the west and north 
galleries were at once taken down. The impro\ cment in the building was so 
manifest, that in a very short time another parish meeting was held (February 4th), at 
which it was determined that the south gallery also should be taken down ; a point 
which had been often urged by Mr. Scott. As that gallery was to be given u[) 
entirely for free sittings, it was decided that, as a compensation for the loss of these, 
the entire of the north aisle should be free and unappropriated for ever." 

I'he following description of the progress of the restoration is based principally 
upon detailed notes, furnished by Mr. W. Prosser, the able and intelligent clerk of 
the works, appointed by Mr. Scott : — 

Shortly after Mr. Cooper took possession of the church, the whole of the old 
seating and the galleries were removed. 

The nave roof was concealed b)- a lath-and-i^laster ceiling (drawn under the open 
timber roof in 1758 or 176S), under the tie beams, the spandrils and corbels of which 
were destroyed, and consoles of a quasi-Italian character substituted, and the whole 
surmounted by a deep plaster cornice. (At this time the roof was leaded.) The whole 
of this was cleared away, and the effect exceeded the most sanguine exjiectations. 
It at once appeared that the mutilations and defects concealed by the seating and 

15 



12 r.ROMSGROVK CMURCIT : 

plastering, were of a more serious description than was at first anticipated. Incredible 
as it may now appear, the beams of the north gallery were let into the caps of the 
pillars of the arcading, destroying the cap, and periling the safety of the fabric 
by diminishing the points of bearing — a most dangerous arrangement. The ashlar 
surface of the south wall was in a most dilapidated state, and the foundations of the 
whole building, excepting the tower, were found to be seriously defective, so that it 
was necessary to under-pin the walls to an average depth of i8 inches. The 
nave roof was found to be in good preservation : new moulded ridge pieces and 
purloins, and some new rafters, which were required, were added, and the whole 
thoroughly repaired. The spandrils under the end of the tie beams were restored, and 
also the stone corbels, copied from a fragment of the original which was found. The 
roof was felted and plastered between the rafters, the plastering being coloured blue. 
The carved bosses were restored at considerable expense. On the easternmost bay 
some old decoration* was found, and as it was an interesting example and worthy of 
preservation, Mr. Scott directed its restoration ; this was done strictly after the 
original, excepting the ornamentation in the spandrils. On the tie beam nearest the 
chancel is a Latin text, **^miU htmlixdi latris mtx, limtVxtt ir mt mixltViciV — 
Come ye blessed of my Father, depart from me ye cursed — having reference to 
an old painting in distemper over the chancel arch, representing the Last Judgment, 
the remains of which were found, but so much mutilated and defaced that none of it 
could be preserved. On the second tie beam are the w^ords : *' Sttfesln^ iht ^0rir in 
tlj£ }3£mit^ X)f IroIiux,ss,"t 

The stone-work throughout the interior was thoroughly restored, the walls scraped 
clean from whitewash, and the natural surface of the stone brought to view and 
re-pointed. The caps of the pillars in the north arcading were all carefully restored, 
and also the bases. The easternmost pillars in this arcade were entirely restored, and 
also the respond against the wall. The restoring of this was a difficult undertaking, 
as the easternmost arch had been so mutilated and cut away as to render it positively 
unsafe ; proper precautions were taken to secure it and the superincumbent weight 
during the operation, and the work was successfully performed. The first order of 
this arch had been cut away, together with the corbels from which it sprung ; it was 
restored according to the evidence which was found, the corbels having the same 
outline and form as the originals. 

* It Is probable that the interior of almost every old church in the country lias at some time been 
decorated with wall-paintings — very many of them have been brought to Hght in recent works on 
church restoration. The favourite subjects were representations of Heaven and Hell, and of the Day of 
Judgment. In many cathedrals and some parish churches the Dance of Death was painted on the walls. 
This was one of the most popular religious plays about four centuries ago. — " Stones of the Temple." 

+ Some old tiles were also found, forming part of an earlier floor, in the chancel. Dr. Collis had 
several of them, and the writer has two in his possession. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 13 

All the label mouldings surrounding these arches and the chancel arch were cut 
away. They were all restored, the terminals having heads of the apostles, Sic, carved 
in a very effective manner by Mr. Irving, of Leicester, wlio executed all the new 
carving in the church. 

The cusping to the tracery of the ten clerestory windows was all restored. This 
had all been cut away at some time, perhaps to save the glazier a little trouble and 
labour. The windows in the south aisle were all restored, some with cuspings, 
muUions, tracery, and new jambs, and restored to their original level. The west 
window in this aisle was entirely restored, after the old design. The windows in the 
north aisle, from which the tracery and heads had been removed, and the jambs 
continued up to the parapet to give light to the galleries, were restored to their 
original position and design, with new tracery, mullions, and heads, witli carved 
angels at the terminals of the label. The large orifice which was over the north door, 
and dignified by the name of a window, made to light the gallery, was walled up. 
A board, requesting females to take off their pattens before entering the church, 
which was nailed to the wall between the window and the door, was also removed. 
The tracery in the east window in this aisle was also restored to its original design. 
The two windows in the south wall of the chancel, and one on the north side, were 
re-opened ; Bishop Hall's monument, which blocked up one of the windows, being 
fixed on the north-eastern wall, and the other tablets in the north aisle. The two 
windows in the porch were also re-opened and restored. 

The area of the church was concreted, forming a hard basement for the sleeper 
walls of the seat flooring. The passages and porch were laid with blue and red 
Staffordshire tiles, the chancel being paved with Minton tiles. The old octagonal 
paving was used again in the centre of the chancel. 

A new doorway was made from the chancel to the vestry, with moulded jambs 
and heads; also a priests' doorway to the chancel, of appropriate design, with 
octagonal shafts and bases attached to the jambs. 

The exterior of the chancel and vestry was denuded of the ugly and incongruous 
battlements and embrasures running up the gables ; the eaves were brought down to 
their original level, with stone cornice and iron gutterings ; new coping and crosses 
were added to the gables and ornamental ridging to the roofs, and chimneys were put 
to the vestry and heating apparatus. 

(The battlements and embrasures were put round the chancel as recently as 1830, 
at the expense of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, and round the vestry at a 
cost of ;^72 to the parish.) 

The whole exterior of the church was re-pointed in Portland cement, and the 
gurgoyles or water spouts and parapets restored. Two new gurgoyles were added to 
the south side of the tower, the old ones having at some period been destroyed. 



14 



BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 



"Tlie t,airgoyles on the tower exhibit more of the ludicrous and imaginative 
conception of medieval builders than of their sense of purity and propriety," says 
Mr. Noake, in the "Rambler." 

New pinnacles were placed on the parapets from a design by Mr. Scott, having 
carved crockets at the angles, and crowned with a finial ; there is a gablet to each 
face ; at the si)ringing are some very spirited carvings of heads, animals, foliage, &c. 

The old zinc rain pipes were removed and new ones of cast iron, of appropriate 
design, substituted. New wrought-iron gates of ornamental design were also put to 

the porch. 

New oak doors, framed and panelled on the back, and hung with wrought-iron 
ornamental hinges, were fixed to all the doorways, except the one on the north side. 

During the time occupied by the work of restoration the services were held in the 

National School. 

The church was re-opened for Divine service on Thursday, the 27th of January, 
1859, on which occasion several of the leading nobility and gentry of the neighbour- 
hood attended. There was a procession of 68 of the clergy in their surplices and 
hoods. The sermons were preached on 

Thursday, January 27th, a.m. — by the Lord Bishop of Worcester, 

„ p.m. — by the Rev. P. C. Claughton, M.A., Bishop 

Designate of St. Helena, 
Friday, January 28th, a.m. — by the Ven. Archdeacon Hone, M.A., 

„ p.m. — by the Rev. Canon Wood, M.A., 

Sunday, January 30th, a.m.— by the Rev. J. D. ColUs, M.A., 

„ afternoon — by the Rev. John Goodwin, M.A., 
,^ „ evening — by the Rev. William Villers, M.A., 

And on Sunday, February 6th— by the Rev. T. L. Claughton, M.A. 
The collections after these services amounted to nearly ^300. 

The restoration committee consisted of the following persons : — 

Rev. William Villers, Vicar of Bromsgrove, chairman. 

Rev. John Day Colhs, M.A., \ ^^ 

, , n-u o <-^ > Hon. Secretaries. 

Mr. Thomas Scott, 

Mr. George Dipple, 
Mr. Richard Dunn, 
Mr. Alfred Palmer, 
Mr. T. D. Thomas, 

Mr. Walter Brooke, Rev. Thomas Housman, 

Mr. John Cordell, Mr. B. Maund, 

Mr. Henry Curtler, Mr. B. H. Sanders, 

Mr. Thomas Day, Mr. James Tomson. 
Mr, Georoe Horton, 



,- Churchwardens. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



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1 6 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

In the annual report for 1859, of the "Worcester Architectural Society," the 
following reference is made to the restoration of this church : — 

" Several restorations of consequence had taken place during the year, the most 
interesting of which was that of Bromsgrove church, by Mr. Scott. Previous to that 
restoration, the church of Bromsgrove had presented combinations of almost every 
kind of disfigurement ; and with regard to the new work, which was in general highly 
approved of in the report, it was stated that the reredos was not effective, and that 
more stained glass and additional polychromatic decorations were much wanted to 
relieve the somewhat cold and cheerless aspect of the interior, notwithstanding the 
solidity and beauty of the fittings; also the 17th century monument, which still 
encumbered the south side of the sanctuary, should have been removed." 

In the Civil Engineer and Architects' Journal, for 1858, the following allusion is 
made to Bromsgrove church : "A restoration of this church has made considerable 
progress, under the direction of Mr. Scott. The old north and west galleries were 
first taken down, and subsequently the south gallery also. "When the flat ceiling was 
removed, a fine ancient oak roof was disclosed, and found to be in excellent 
preservation. Among other improvements may be enumerated the clearing of the 
whitewash from all the stonework, the rebuilding of some of the piers, the opening 
out of several windows which had been blocked up, with the repairing of no less 
than 30. others which were more or less mutilated, and the removing of the late 
belfry floor, which divided into two the great western window, and has necessitated 
the transferring to a higher floor the clock and chimes, opportunity being taken for 
their refitting and improvement. New and substantial ceilings have likewise been 
added in the chancel, aisles, and belfry ; some ancient colouring upon one bay of the 
roof of the nave has been restored, with admirable effect to the general appearance 
of the church ; and the entire reglazing of the windows has been undertaken. Two 
of the latter are to be memorial, and a subscription is commenced for filling the east 
window also with stained glass. * * * The amount of labour and expense 
involved by these alterations is about equivalent to the entire rebuilding of one-third 
of the interior of the church." 



There are other parts of the church, not already noticed, and objects of interest 
therein, worthy of description. 

The chancel ceiling is of oak, divided into panels, with carved bosses at the 
intersections of the ribs, which spring from a rich cornice, having carved pateras in 
the hollow. 

The ceilmgs of the aisles are of red fir, stained and varnished, and divided 
into panels, having carved bosses at the intersections, with monograms, arms, crosses, 
crests, initials, date of restoration, and other carved devices. The tower floor is 



lis HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 7 

divided into panels of a bold description, with carved bosses, and an octagonal 
opening formed in the centre, in case of a necessity arising to lower or repair 
the bells, &c. 

On the ridge of the roof outside the church, at the junction of the nave and 
chancel, is the place where formerly hung the sanctus bell, used in the services of the 
Roman Catholic Church to call attention to the more solemn parts of the mass. It 
was always rung at the words, " Sande, Sancfe, Sancte, Deus Saboi/i" — " Holy, Holy, 
Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth ; " and whoever heard it was expected to prostrate 
himself. 

On the north side of the exterior of the church are two bosses to one of the 
windows, representing persons with distorted faces, caused by the one having a 
violent ear ache, and the other a gnawing tooth ache, but exposure to the action 
of the weather has nearly destroyed the identity of them. 

In the south porch,* we may observe still remaining the stoup, or small niche or 
basin which used to contain the holy water, into which each person dipped his finger 
and crossed himself in sign of purification when passing the threshold of the sacred 
edifice. 

The chancel was formerly separated from the nave by a beautiful and highly 
decorated screen of open work ; above this was a cross beam, richly carved, 
supporting a gallery, the passage to which was up a flight of stone steps in the north 
wall, immediately adjoining. This gallery was called the rood loft, where the crucifix 
or rood, together with images of John the Baptist and other saints most esteemed by 
the parishioners, were placed. Rood lofts were ordered to be removed at the 
Reformation, and at the same time the Royal arms were substituted. At the 
restoration of the church the rood loft doorway and stairs were re-opened, but 
the defective state of the wall necessitated the making of this pier solid, to resist the 
pressure of the chancel arch. The doorway was preserved and restored, and now 
forms a repository for music, &c. ; the upper part of the stains, with the stone ceiling 
and centre panel, were thrown open to view. 

In the south wall of the vestry is a squint, or opening in an oblique direction, 
used in Roman Catholic times for the purpose of enabling persons to see the 
elevation of the host at the high altar. 

In the south wall of the chancel is a trefoil-headed piscina, or shallow stone 
basin, having a hole in the bottom, with shelf over, formerly placed near the altar in 
Roman Catholic churches, and fixed at a convenient height above the floor, to hold 
the water in which the priest washed his hands ; also for rinsing the chalice at 

* The porch was a very ancient appendage lo a cliurcli, and was made use of for a variety 
of purposes, both civil and religious ; it was here the parishioners met to settle disputes, and 
here also portions of the marriage service were performed. 



1 8 JJROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

the time of the celebration of the mass. It was usually, as in this case, on the right- 
hand side, on the approach to the altar. 

The church has, from time to time, suffered considerably from the effects of 
lightning. On February 3rd, 1843, the church was struck by lightning, which partially 
destroyed some of the figures on the clock face. On June 23rd, 1846, the lightning 
ran down the wire belonging to the "tolling hammer" and set fire to some old 
mats in the coal hole. On June 19th, 1852 (Sunday), just before the close of 
the afternoon service, a most tremendous shock was felt in the church, caused by the 
lightning striking the spire and running down the " weight hole" and bursting open a 
door in the tower gallery, which was at that time filled with boys ; fortunately none 
of them were hurt. A great cry was raised, and a rush to get out was made by the 
congregation. In the evening a thanksgiving service was held, and allusion made to 
the almost providential escape of the children and others. Shortly after this event 
the lightning conductor was put up by Messrs. Brown, of Sheffield. 

On February ist, 1868, considerable damage was done to the church by a severe 
gale, which displaced the two topmost stones of the pinnacle at the south-west corner 
of the tower. These stones weighed together about two hundredweight, and, as they 
fell a distance of between 30 and 40 feet, came down with sufficient force to make a 
hole in the leaden covering of the nave roof, the timbers of which were splintered by 
the blow they received. Happily, no injury was done to the interior of the church. 
The cost of reparation, and securing of one of the other pinnacles, &c., was about 
^120. On a stone near the north-west pinnacle is the following : — 

This and North East, 

Pinnacles, 

Rebvilt. a, D, 1868. 

e. hovsman. 



W. HOLYOAKE. 

G. Kings. 
A. Bennett. 
H. W. Lewis. Bvilder. 



/" Chvrchwardens, 



On the south-west pinnacle is a date — 166-, and on various parts of the battle- 
ments and the lower part of the spire, persons have exhibited much patience by 
carving their names, &c., on the stonework. Amongst them may be noticed : — 

"Robert Francis Mumford 
Senior Curate of 

Bromsgrove 1863." 

"William Llewellin 1849" 

both of which were carved by an experienced workman, and not with a penknife, as 
the greater part of the remainder appear to have been. 



ITS HISTORY AXD ANTIQUITIES. 



19 



In 1825 the steeple was repaired by Mr. Joseph Johnson, of Redditch, at a cost 
of ^65 ; but the work was done badly, and in September, 1836, it was again 
repaired by Mr. Robinson, of Redditch, at a cost of ^106 is. S^^^- Inirther 
repairs were executed by Mr. Brown, of Sheffield, in July, 1859. 

At the east and west corners of the church are echoes ; also in the Crown Close, 
and other parts of the town. 

At the vestry meeting on Easter Monday, 1S69, the fire insurance on the church 
was increased from ^^2500 to ^^4000, at which sum it still remains. 




The above engraving, from a photograph, represents the present aspect of the 
church, as seen from within the west door, looking south-east. 




c Wcro^ anb jScaf^. 



JT was ordered on September 28th, 1720, "that the seats in the church 
shall be rebuilt at the expense of the parish, and the parishioners shall 
have their seats as near as possible to the old ones ; " and at a vestry 
meeting held July 9th, 1758, " there was granted to George Draper Riclvl- Brookes 
Thos. Rose and I'hos. Smith ten single Lones to defray part of the charge of their 
said office and we do hereby further agree to have the Church Ceated and other 
Repaires that are wanting to be done to the church has soon has possible in the Best 
way and manner that they can and that they shall have more lones Granted at other 



20 r.ROMSGROVE CHVRCII : 

jn'oper times has ihe Churchwardens shall want for their use and to account for the 
money that they have now granted being a mejoryty of the parshones of this 
meeting." 

On November 6th, 1771, it was agreed to "Indemnify the churchwardens 
in any action that Mr. Normeyeuth (?) shall Bring on account of a seat in the 
Church." 

On March 30th, 1807, two new seats were erected, at a cost to the parish of 
;j^7 8s. 6d., "in that part of the Church where the Font used to be, and Let one of 
them to Mrs. Best for one year at one guinea, the other set to Mr. John Dufifill 
at Fifteen shiUings pr. year." On the same date was " Purchased one half of a seat 
belonging to the late Mr. John Saunders near the pulpit in Bromsgrove Church 
of Mr. Isaac Parkes trustee Mrs. Mary Saunders and Mr. Thos. Saunders the other 
half belonged to the parish before and it cost ;^6 6s. and the parties agreed to make 
a title to the seat at any time when demanded and a receipt was given by the 
parties." 

These pews were of oak, very high, with doors and fastenings ; as before stated, 
they were cleared away at the church restoration. 

The south gallery, prior to 1824, contained 31 pews, which were owned as 
follows : — 

No. I. Benjamin Johnson. No. 2. Thomas Sanders. 

3. Thomas Sanders. 4. Late Benjamin Haines, sen. 

5. Mrs. Powell. 6. ^^'illiam Ward. 

7. Thomas Kings. 8. James White. 

9. John Lacy. 10. John Cromwell. 

II. Benjamin Witheford. 12. Thomas Juggins. 

13. Benjamin Taylor. 14. Joseph Brooke. 

15. Mrs. Clements. 16. William Wilson. 

17. Sarah Hartle. 18. John Palmer. 

19. John Palmer. 20. Mrs. Mihvard. 

21. Thomas Barratt. 22. Mrs. Smith. 

23. Benjamin Taylor. 24. — Dunn (Coventry). 

25. William Bradley. 26. Miss Molesworth. 

27. Joseph Banner. 28. Thomas Penn. 

29. ^^'illiam Ward. 30. Joseph \A'oolmore and Joseph Jew. 

31. John Lacy. 
At a vestry meeting, held January 5th, 1S24, it was resolved, "That as the 
accommodation in the church is insufficient for the increased population, some 
alteration appears desirable." 

" That the plans and specifications for alterations in the north and south galleries 
and tower, drawn and proposed by Messrs. Rickman and Hutchinson, appear most 
desirable and advantageous, and that they be carried out." 



ii'S HIirOKV AND ANiiQUITiE^. il 

Messrs. Hepworth and Davis's tender, amounting to ;^'449 19s. yd., was accepted. 
It was further decided that tlie extra pews obtained by the alteration should be sold 
by auction, in order to defray the cost. 

At a meeting of the committee, held February 6ih, 1824, it was " Resolved that 
the occupiers of the Front Pews in the North Gallery shall have the new front pews, 
and that the occupiers of the other Pews shall be Brought forward in Rotation, 
so that the back pews may be sold." 

"That the first and Second Row of pews (ten in number) to the front of the 
South Gallery to be erected, be allotted to the proprietors of the ten front pews 
of the present gallery." 

" That Mr. Thomas Sanders be allowed, in lieu of his two pews in the present 
Gallery, the two pews No. 7 and No. 12 in the New Gallery." 

"That Mr. Benjamin Taylor and Mr. Juggins be allowed a pew and a half 
each, in consequence of their pews in the present gallery being larger than 
usual." 

At a meeting on February nth, 1824, it was "Agreed that Mr. Jos. Brooke and 
Mr. Benj. Taylor shall dra7o cuts w^hich shall have the front pew No. i^)^ the other to 
have the choice of having the pew No. 38 or the pew No. 39, Instead of the 
pew No. 37." 

" That Notice be given in the Church on Sunday next, calling a Meeting of the 
proprietors of the whole of the Pews in the South Gallery, on Wednesday the 25th 
inst., in the vestry, at two o'clock in the afternoon, to produce their respective titles 
or claims before the Committee." 

At this meeting all the claims were allowed, except to pews Nos. 4, 8, and 28. 

On June 15th, 1824, " It was ordered that pew No. 4 in the old South Gallery be 
allotted to the Descendant of the late Mr. Benj. Haines, formerly of the Saracen's 
Head Inn, Bromsgrove, in lieu of which they are to have the pew No. 5 in the new 
South Gallery." 

Thomas Penn's claim to i)ew No. 28 was allowed. 

" That the pews at the end of the Organ Gallery be raised so as to be upon 
a Level with the pews in the South Gallery ; the work to be done by Mr. Joseph 
Brooke." 

"That the windows under the South Gallery be enlarged; Mr. Da\is to give in 
his estimate." 

"That the pews in the South Gallery be Numbered, and that Notice be Given in 
the Church on Sunday next and the following Sunday (and by hand bills) that nine 
pews and half a pew in the South Gallery, viz., Nos. 2, 10, 11, 18, 19, 24, 25, 32, and 
39, and the half of No. 33, will be sold by auction in tlic 'I'own Hall on ^^'cdnesday, 
the 30th of June inst." 



t:KU.M.'>GKU\L. CMUKCH ; 



A further meeting was held on June 29th, and conditions of sale drawn up. 
Mr. Thomas Ward was auctioneer, and the amount realised by the sale was ^279 los. 
The purchases and sittings were then as follows : — 



No. 

1. Joseph Woolmere and Joseph Jew. 

2. Bought by William Penn for _;^ i o i os. 
4. John Lacy. 

6. Benjamin Johnson. 

8. William Ward. 

10. Bought for William Ward for ^30. 
(This pew was first purchased by Mr. G. C. Vernon.) 

12. Thomas Sanders. 

14. Joseph Banner. 

16. — Dunn. 

18. Bought by Mary Gale, ^32. 

20. Thomas Kings. 

22. John Cromwell. 

24. Bought by "William Higgs, ^34. 

26. Mrs. Smith. 

28. Benjamin Taylor. 

30. Sarah Hartle. 

32. Bought by James Green, ^32. 

34. Thomas Juggins. 

36. Joseph Brooke. 

39. Bought by James Blew, ^^27 10s. 

41. Thomas Barrett. 



No. 



5- 

7- 

9- 

II. 

IS- 



William \\^ard. 

Late Benjamin Haines. 

Thomas Sanders. 

Mrs. Powell. 

Bought by Benjamin Maund, ^34. 

Thomas Penn. 

Miss Molesworth. 
17. William Bradley. 
1 9. Bought by Mr. W. Partridge, ^34 i os. 

(Transferred to Mr. G. C. Vernon.) 
2 1. James White. 
23. Thomas Lacy. 

25. Bought by George Stonehall, ;^24. 
27. Mrs. INIillward. 
29. William Wilson. 
31. John Palmer. 



33. Thomas Juggins. — Half of this pew 

sold to James Juggins for ^13. 
35. Benjamin Witheford. 

37. Benjamin Taylor. 

38. Benjamin Taylor. 
40. Mrs. Clements. 
42. John Palmer. 

By the alterations in the north gallery eight additional pews were gained. These 
were disposed of by auction, at the Town Hall, on October 25th, 1S24, to the 
following purchasers : — 

No. 5. To Mr. William Drury 



6. 
12. 

13- 
18. 
19. 
29. 
33- 



AVilliam ^\'ard 
John Shci)])y 
John Bell Crane 
John Dipple 

do. 

do. 

do. 



Total 



^18 


10 





20 


10 





7 








10 








9 


10 





10 








10 


10 





17 









^103 



iiS KlhTuKV A.\U AN riijUl] IKS. 23 

On October i ith, 1824, " It was Resolved that Mr. John Ashmore and Mr. Thomas 
Greening's seats a])pearing to be benefited in a greater pro])ortion than others by the 
alterations in the North Gallery, they should [ny in consideration of the advantage 
respectively derived — 

Mr. John Ashmore ... ... ^5 o o 

Mr. Thomas Greening ... ... 4 o o " 

Formerly a seat was allotted to the bailiffs and aldermen of the town, and another 
to the wives of the latter. In 1703 (March 29th), at a ])arish meeting, "It is ordered 
that notice be given in the Church on Sunday ne.xt, that no ])erson shall sit in the 
Bailiff's and Alderman's seat, but such substantial house-dwellers that the church- 
wardens shall order, and that no servants shall sit in the Alderman's wives' seat." 

The seats for the poor were in the centre part of the church, and nearest to 
the pulpit and reading desk. 

The sub-committee appointed previous to the restoration of the church, reported 
at a parish meeting on April 15th, 1857, that the sitting accommodation was as 
follows : — 

Galleries ... ... 95 pews ... 465 sittings. 

Ground 158 „ ... 756 „ 

Free Benches (narrow) ... 75 „ 

Children . ... •••53 

253 1349 (of which about 630 were free). 



They stated " that there were a great many sittings /^aJ, so bad that they were 
l^ractically worthless. It is not too much to say that there are at least 200 sittings in 
the church at present in which nothing but dire necessity would induce any person 
to sit." 

The i)resent seats, which were i)laced in the church at the restoration, are 
of oak (except where the contractor was allowed to insert chestnut, of which the 
greater portion of the actual seating is formed), of beautiful design and workmanshiji, 
the mouldings being remarkably clean and sharp ; the ends have a sunk quatrefoil 
panel on the face, filled in with exquisitely carved foliage, copied from natural objects 
— the holly, oak, strawberry, ivy, vine, hop, <S:c. ; the arm rests have i\y and other 
leaves carved on the face ; the ba( ks of the seats arc all framed, paneled, and very 
strong. The backs and fronts next to the passages are paneled, the tracery being 
of a very rich and elaborate design, and of excellent workmanship. The seating of 
the chancel is of a different design, having carved terminations to the mouldings on 
the ends ; the fronts are of open tracery, of an early character. The children's seals 
are placed under the tower, and are of pleasing and substantial construction. The 
churchwardens formerly occupied a large scjuare seat on the north side of the 
chancel, nearest the nave. At each corner of the seat was placed one of the four 



24 jlkOMSGROvE CHURCH : 

wands used by the churchwardens when the bisliop visited the church. In lieu 
of this, they now occupy the front seat on the same side, but nearest the east 
window. Adjoining the former seat was that of the baiUffs and aldermen. "Hie 
"vicar's seat" was nearer the pulpit. 

At a parish meeting, held on February 4th, 1858, it was resolved, " That the whole 
of the sittings in the North aisle should be free and unappropriated for ever." The 
remainder (except those under the tower) are allotted to applicants from time to 
time, as occasions occur. This system of appropriation was the cause of much 
unpleasantness at first. " One party urgently pressed for an entirely free church," 
while another talked of "a suit for perturbation in the Ecclesiastical Court, and 
an action on the case at common law against the churchwardens for disturbing him 
in the use of his pew. The vicar, in a printed address, tried to cast oil on the 
troubled waters ; and the churchwardens, Messrs. T. Scott, W. Holyoake, E. Hadley, 
and E. Jackson, declared that the matter did not legally rest with them."* The 
grievance was quietly and peaceably settled, and is now, it is hoped, forgotten. 

The present accommodation is for about 1050 persons, of which 550 are free. 

In the vestry, in a massive carved oak frame, with a gilt inside border, is a tablet 

bearing the following : — 

May V. MDCCCXLIX. 

Presented to the Vicar and 

Churchwardens of Bromsgrove, 

for the use of the Parish Church, 

$, ^mt aitir .^alJr.'itcral 

By the Rev. John Day ColUs, A. M. 

Headmaster of the Grammar School of 

^vin0 f.irfoarir tlriJ ^istlr. 



Also two carved oak chairs and 

two stools for the Chancel by 

William Wildsmith of this Town. 

Rev. William Villers, A.M. Vicar. 

Robert Heynes v 

Hugh Phillips ( /-u 1 a 

,,,.„. _ , > Churchwardens. 

William Baker I 

William Llewellin / 
The faldstool is of oak, and has six pieces of old carved oak inserted into 

the new work, one of which is a representation of the Lord's Supper. 

One of the chairs referred to above is on the north side of the communion table, 

the other is in the vestry, as is also one of the stools, the other being used by 

the organ blower. 

* Noake's "Guide to Worcestershire." 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES, 25 

In 1868, two seats for the use of the aged and infirm poor were placed in front 
of the pulpit and reading desk, the style of the work harmonising with the other 
sittings. The churchwardens' seat, by the font, was also added, at a cost of £t,. 
In December, 1869, Mr. W. S. Batten presented to the church eight large-type 
Prayer Books, and the same number of Bibles, for the use of the poor persons 
occupying the kneelings near the prayer desk and pulpit. The oak kneeling desks 
were also the gift of Mr. Batten. 




^6e Wufpif, ^ccfern, &c. 

N January 2nd, 1744, a new pulpit, reading desk, and clerk's desk, standing 
one above another in the middle of the nave, completely hiding the view 
of the chancel and altar from the congregation, was placed in the church, 
at a cost of ;^4i 13s. In the parish records, on January 2nd, 1744, it is ordered, 
"That it be inserted in this Book that during the churchwardenship of Mr. Will, 
Smith Mr. Will. Kimberley Mr. John Harsnot and Mr. John Wright the sum of 
^41 13s, was raised partly by a subscription of the parishioners for the erecting of a 
new^ pulpit &c. and partly by the Ground in the Church made convenient thereby 
for seats. And that the same has been expended and that an account thereof has 
been laid before the Parishioners at a parish meeting and that they are satisfied 
therewith." This is signed by Will. Phillips, vicar, and others. The pulpit, one 
of the description usually called a "three decker," was decorated with gold fringe 
and other ornaments, the cost of which was ^£^20 i6s. gd. In December, 1776, the 
church was entered and robbed of the fringe and a surplice ; and at a parish meeting 
held on December 15th, 1776, "twenty lones" were granted to the churchwardens, 
" in order to defray the charge of replacing the gold Fring and Tassells belonging to 
the pulpit cloth and Cusion and surplice &c. Lately stolen from out of the Church 
and Vestry and towards defraying other necessary parts of their said office." Over 
the pulpit was suspended a Chinese sounding board, having a dove and gilt ball 
on the top of it. The removal of this dove and board seems to have offended the 
" Bird of Bromsgrove," for, in the " Bromsgrove Memorial," we read : — 
" Our clerg^'man ; a word with you. 

Just ground, a cutting word or two. 

You, who have had the font remov'd, 

Can you expect to be approv'd ? 

Suffered the dove away to hoj), 

With our beloved pulpit top ; 

That hole made lately through the wall, 

Forgive you, sir, we never shall. 



26 



liROMSGROVE CHURCH : 



I'ut u\\ we will not, with your whims, 
New tunes, new organ, psalms and hymns. 

The people turn'd religion-mad, 
No seats, no sitting to be had : 
The lessons read by such a boy, 
AV^ithout our leave, or reason why ; 
(The man that cannot read so well. 
Has faults to find and tales to tell), 
By candle catechise the poor ; 
Expenses hateful to endure." 
The present oak reading desk, and the handsome oak pulpit, were placed in 
their present positions when the church was reseated, and the old one, described 
above, was, with the old pews, &c., sold by auction in the Crown Close. The puli)it 
is on the south side of and underneath the chancel arch, the reading desk occuj^ying 
a similar position on the opposite side. 

The door to the old clerk's desk is now in a partition in a house on Stoney Hill. 
At the west end of the south aisle is a small oak 
lectern, with desk top and trunk lock, having an ancient 
volume chained to it ; the whole being in good condition. 
The work is dated 1609, and is — 

"A SERMON Made in Latine in Oxenford, in the 
raigne of King Edward sixt, by the learned and goodly 
Father John Jkvvel, late Bishojj of Sarisluirie, and trans- 
lated into English by Ji. I". : Dedicated vnto the Bishop of 
London, as appeareth vi the conunentarie of Master Calvine 
upon the Galathians, in English . i Cor. 9,16. Wo is vnto 
nie if I preacli 7wf tJie Gospel I." 

The upper part of the first page has been cut out by 
some ruthless hand, otherwise the work is in good order, 
clean and complete. 

The handsome brass lectern now in use, was the gift 
of the late Miss Maria Sanders, and represents an eagle 
(the symbolic representation of the Evangelist St. John), 
with out-stretched wings, standing upon a ball supported 
by a twisted shaft on a circular base, round which is 
this inscription : — 

" In honorem Dei et in usum ecclesi^ S. Johannis Baptist/E de Bromsgrove 
DD. D. Maria Sanders, a.d. mdccclxii." — (In honour of God, and for the use of 
the Church of St. John the Baptist at Bromsgrove; given by Maria Sanders. 
A.D. 1862). 





ITS HISTORY AND AN IIQUITIES. 



;HE baptismal font which was for many years in use in the church, was 
made by Jonathan Pinfield, a mason of Bromsgrove, and cost the parisli 
26s. ! In the parochial accounts the following receipt is given : " Jany. 2nd. 
1744. — Recvd. of John Wright, for making a font, the sum of one pound 6 shillings, 
pr. Jona : Pinfield. — ^i 6s." It would be interesting to know what has become of 
this inexpensive and primitive piece of workmanship. This font originally stood in 
front of the organ gallery, but on March 30th, 1807, it was removed to the side of 
the monuments of the Shrewsbury family, at the east end of the north aisle. To the 
font was a lid surmounted by an eagle, and suspended by a brass chain from the ceiling. 

The present font was presented to the church in 1847, by the Rev. John Day 
CoUis, D.D., and bears this inscription — 

"Ex DoNo JoHANNis Day Collis, A.M., ScHOL.E Regis Edvardi. ^T. apud 
Bromsgrovenses Magistri. mdcccxlvii." — (The Gift of John Day Collis, M.A., 
Master of King Edward Vlth's School at Bromsgrove, 1847.) 

The carving was executed by Mr. Irving, of Leicester. 

The last christening at the old font took place August 29th, 1847, and the 
new one was brought into the church on September 22nd of the same year, the first 
christening taking place on the following Sunday, when the Rev. P. M. Stedman 
baptised " Emma, daughter of John and Ann Barley, Lickey End, nailer." 

Some " few years " before 1799, Mrs. Moore, relict of Edward Moore, of Barn 
Green, presented a handsome marble communion table, and an altar-piece of oak, 
neatly ornamented, containing the Lord's Prayer, the Decalogue, and the Apostles' 
Creed, to the church. Its height, however, hid the lower part of the east window. 
She also ])resented an iron communion rail. 

The i)resent reredos, placed in the church at the restoration, is of Ancaster stone ; 
the two sides are arcaded with marble shafts, the centre portion over the altar is 
in alabaster, diapered, witli a sunk quatrefoil jjanel in tlie centre, with monogram 
I.H.C., &c. This is surmounted with paneling containing some coloured decorations, 
and medallions of our Lord and the Evangelists. L'nderneath are the words : "This 

DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF Me." 

The altar cloth was the gift of Mrs. J. D. Collis. The altar railing* is of wrouglit- 
iron, with oak capping, the standards and ornamental parts coloured in ultramarine, 
and the leaves gilt. The altar table and two stools are of oak, of neat design. 

'"' ^^■hc^ the rood screens were ordered lo be removed, il was found necessary lo protect tlie altar 
from general intrusion, and hence the origin of "altar rails," which were fir-,t ordered to be put up 
by Archbishop Laud. 



28 



IJROMtiGROVK CHURCH : 



The communion plate is of silver, of very chaste description, each piece bearing 
the monogram I.H.C, and the chalice, in addition, the words, " Cllory be to God on 
high." It was made some five or six years ago, out of the plate formerly in use, by 
Messrs. Keith and Co., of Denmark Street, London. 

At a jjarish meeting, held December 15th, 1776, " It v/as agreed that the church- 
wardens for the time being should have the custody or keeping of the communion 
plate. Sec. And in case any accident shall happen at the house or place where 
the churchwardens shall deposit shall be broken open and the Plate, &c., stolen or 
lost therefrom, the said churchwardens shall not be at any loss thereby, but it shall 
be made or repaid by the Parish." 

In 1868, an oak box, lined with velvet, was bought for the plate, at a cost 
of ;^i i2s. 6d. 

In 1548, the number of communicants was 1000. 




c ^5^^a6o^t)Je. 



ITH the exception of the beautiful windows at Great Malvern, \\'orcester- 
shire is very poor in stained glass. There is, howcAcr, a considerable 
quantity of fine old glass at the little church of Oddingley, and a 
few figures remain at several other places. Nash informs us that in the " first pane " 
of the great east window of Bromsgrove church was some ancient stained glass 
representing a bishop, "subscribed Si'. IViilsfafi" Bishop of Worcester. In the same 
window were some defaced coats of arms, one of which was Bishop Alcock's. 
V\' olstan, who was surnamed " the saint," was born at Long Ichington, 'Warwickshire. 
He v\-as Bishop of V>"orcester from 1062 to 1095, and was present at the coronation 
of William the Conqueror. In 10S4, he began to build the present cathedral of 
Worcester ; three years afterwards he assisted in crowning William Rufus, and in 
1088 opened his new cathedral, which was finished, and he held a synod there 
in 1092. Great encomiums are passed upon "Wolstan. especially by WilUam of 
Malmesbury, who wrote a book of his life and miracles. He was doubtless an 
extraordinary man, a persausive and powerful preacher, though his attainments in 
literature were mean ; he was remarkably humble in an age when the prelatic 
character was distinguished for haughtiness : meek and patient, yet on proper 
occasions he wanted not spirit. He died January 19th, 1095, aged about 87, having 
held the see 32 years. He was canonized by Pope Innocent III., for the miracles 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 29 

pretended to be wrought at his shrine in Worcester Cathedral, and was the last Saxon 
Bishop of Worcester. 

The arms of Bishop Alcock referred to were — Argent, on a fesse between three 
cock's heads erased sable, a mitre or. These arms are a good pun upon the bishop's 
name — Alcock. The mitre is sometimes omitted, as in glass at Malvern ; and in 
some examples the arms are surrounded with a bordure gules, charged with eight 
crov.-ns or. John Alcock, Bishop of Rochester, was translated to the see of Worcester 
September i8th, 1476. He was President of the Council in the ist of Edward IV., 
and afterwards Lord Chancellor of England. During the time he was Bishop of 
Worcester he confirmed the foundation of a perpetual chantry in Bromsgrove parish 
church by Alianore Stafford, the widow of Sir Humphrey Stafford, of Grafton, 
Knt., A.D. 1478. This fad may account for his arms appearing in the window. He 
was appointed to the sec of Ely in i486, and died October ist, 1500, being buried in 
tlic Cathedral of Ely. No record appears to exist stating what has become of 
this old glass, unless, indeed, it met with that fate which Mr. Noake suggests in 
referring to other painted glass in the county : " 'When Horace Walpole tricked 
up Strawberry Hill, the introduction of stained glass into private houses was first 
made fashionable, and large prices were offered for the article by the London dealers, 
who sent their travellers all through the country. The village glaziers, being tempted 
by the lucrative offers, took advantage of every high wind, and, abstracting the finest 
quarries piecemeal from the church windows, laid the fault of the mutilation at 
the door of rude ' Boreas ' and charged the parish with repairs, which the church- 
wardens (good, easy souls) thought unavoidably necessary." 

We find this item in the parish accounts : "January y^ 2, 1744-5 then Reseved 
of Mr. Smith and Mr. Kimberley and Mr. Horsnett & Mr. Right (Wright) y^ Late 
Church Wardens y° sum of Eight pound and four shilling being in full for last 
Easter and keeping y° leades (leads) and windows of y° Church at Bromsgrove in 
Repaire and y^ other New Windows wich I have to Reseve to make up my moneys 
to y'' present churchwardens y^ sume of ten shillings to make up my sume." 

The five lancets of the great east window are filled \\ith stained glass, containing 
subjects from the life of our Blessed Lord. I'he glass was supplied and inserted 
by Messrs. Lavers and Barraud, of London, and cost ;^263, which sum was 
collected by the exertions of the Rev. C. H. and Mrs. Jenner, and the ladies of 
the town. 

The two windows on the south side of the chancel are filled with stained glass 
supplied by Messrs. Clayton and liell, of London, as memorials to members of 
the late Mr. Benjamin Maund's family. The glass in the easternmost of these 
windows represents : First — St. Paul, seated, with a long straight sword in his right 
hand, and in his left a (juill pen. Over his head, "• Paul serv.\nt of Jesus Christ," 



KROMSdRftNF. Cll['k( 11 



Second — St. J.ukc, scaled, -with a book in his left hand, and over liis head, " Lukl 
THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN." 'J'lie lowXT part of the window has this inscription : — 



AND WAS INTERRED THERE IN THE 
GENERAL CE.METRY (sic.) •5<-'£^-«^<> 



In memory of John Maund ; M.D. who 
DIED AT Melbourne, Victoria mdccclvii 

The other window is similar in design, and has : First— a female at a faldstool, 
reading the Scriptures, and over her head the words, " Blessed are the pure in 
Heart." Second — another female figure, holding flowers, representing Charity, and 
the words, " Charity never faileth." The lower part of the window bears the 
following : — 

In memory of Sarah wife of j In memory of Mary wife of 
Benjamin Maund F.L.S.* die»d 1857. | Owen Maund died 1848. 

The east windoAv of the north aisle is filled with stained glass, furnished by 
Messrs. Clayton and Bell, and was .the gift of the Rev. J. D. Collis, D.D. It 
represents our Lord Ijlessing the children and healing the sick. The motto is — 
For Christ's little ones | For Christ | For Christ's poor 

Along the bottom of the window — 
In the year of the | restoration of the church j 1858 John Day Collis 
The east window of the south aisle is to the memory of the late Mr. Thomas 
Day, of Bromsgrove, who for upwards of 20 years filled the office of clerk to the 
Board of Guardians, during which period his strict fidelity and wonderful habits of 
business, and the pains he took in tabularising all information useful for the various 
parishes of the union ; his kindness to the poor, the excellent advice he gave them, 
the way in which he bestowed his time, and employed his business talents, in 
promoting many good works for the education and social improvement of the 
inhabitants of the town and parish, demanded a substantial recognition on the part 
of his fellow townsmen and others. Accordingly, a project was set on foot for 
erecting some permanent memorial of his personal worth and record of his official 
services to the town and neighbourhood, and it was decided that it should take 
the form of a memorial window. To attain this object subscriptions were invited, 
and a meeting of subscribers was held at the Institute on February 25th, 1867, under 

* Mr. B. >raund rendered Bromsgrove remarkable by the production of an horticultural work far 
surpassing anything of the kind ever attempted in a provincial town. On the ist of January, 1825, 
Mr. Maund issued the fust monthly part of his "Botanic Garden," illustrated with "accurately 
coloured plates of hardy and ornainental flowering plants," which immediately attained a large 
circulation, both in our own and in other countries. The work was completed in 16 vols., and is 
extremely rare. On the 1st of January, 1836, the same spirited scientific gentleman issued the first 
number of his "Botanist," being assisted by the Rev. J. S. Henslow, professor of botany, which 
work "contains plates and the description of tender and hardy ornamental plants," and, if possible 
excels its predecessor in style of execution. 



IIS ins'lOUV AND AXlIQL'l I IKS. 3 1 

the presidency of Lord Lyttelton. A statement of the position of the funds was 
presented by Mr. Thomas White, the hon. sec. ; the meeting adjourned to the church 
for the purpose of deciding which window it would be best to select to receive 
the memorial, and it was there resolved " that the east window of the south aisle 
should be selected." A plan for a beautiful window, comprising six subjects from the 
miracles of Our Lord, had been submitted by Messrs. Lavers and Barraud, of 
Bloomsbury, London, the cost of executing which would be ^150, but by leaving 
out some of the elaborate details of the plan the cost was reduced to ^130. It was 
resolved that the plan should be adopted, subject to the proposed reduction in 
the cost, and subject also to the consent of the Vicar, who was present at the 
meeting, and who at once, of course, gave the required consent. The funds at 
command not being sufficient, many of the subscribers increased tlieir subscriptions, 
and the amount required was soon raised. A committee, consisting of the Rev. G. 
W. Murray, vicar, Rev. Dr. Collis, Dr. Fletcher, and Mr. T. White, hon. sec, was 
appointed to carry the resolutions into effect, llie window was put into its place 
during the first week in the June following, and is an appropriate memorial to 
one whose life was in so many ways devoted to the service of his fellow townsmen. 

The subjects of the window are Our Lord's works of mercy mentioned in 
St. Matthew xi. 5. Under the three upper scenes are the words — 



THE DEAF HEAR 



THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP 



TO THE POOR THE GOSPEL 
IS PREACHED. 



THE LEPER IS CLEANSED. 



and under the lower ones — 

THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR 

THE LAME WALK 
SIGHT 

Along the bottom of the windo^\' we read — 

To THE GLORY OF GOD ERECTED BY THE 

AND IN MEMORY BORN SEPTEMBER 25 1809 INHABITANTS OF THIS TOWN 

OF Thomas Day of died May 6. 1866 and neighbourhood 

Bromsgrove 1867. 

The relatives shortly after had placed beneath the window a brass plate, 2 1 ji in- 

by 12 i^ in., which has the following : — 

To the Glory of God and in MexMOry of their late 

Much respected Townsman. Mr. Thomas Day, 

Born September 25TH 1809, Died May 6th 1866. 

This window has been erected by the inhabitants 

of Bromsgrove and the neighbourhood, as a tribute 

TO departed worth, and in acknowledgment 

OF the honorary services of the deceased, in 

promoting every GOOD WORK IN CONNECTION WITH 
THE INSTITUTIONS AND CHARITIES OF THIS ToWN, 



32 HROMSCROVK CHURCH : 

The amount received from subscriptions was ^140 iis. 6d., which was disposed 
of as follows : — ■ r j._ ^^_ 

Lavers and Barraud, for window 133 15 6 

W. Brown, taking out old window and fixing new one 3 14 3 

A. Palmer, for printing, advertising, &C 296 

Carriage o 12 3 

^140 II 6 

The great west window is an excellent representation of the parable of the "Wise 
and Foolish Virgins, with the figure of Christ in the centre. In the lower part of 
the middle compartment is the figure of an angel holding a scroll, on which are 
the words — Saint ^latthew ch. xxv. v : i-xii. 

Underneath the window, on long brass jjlates, is the following inscription, in red 
and black church lettering : — 

First li fie. —To the Glory of God and in affectionate memory of Olivia Emma, 
wife of the Rev. Walter More-Molyneux, B.A., and daughter of the Rev. 
G. W. Murray, M.A., Vicar of Bromsgrove. 

Second line. — This window is dedicated by her husband. She was born 
Sep. xxiii., 1847, Married July xiv., Died August x. 1868. "Watch there- 
fore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour." Matt. xxv. 13. 

Died August lot/i, 1868. 

Alas ! she 's gone ; the young, the loved, the gay ! 
Gone like the sunshine of a summer's day ; 
Gone in the happiness of bridal bloom ; 
Her footsteps hurried to an early tomb. 

Of what avail the tears so freely shed ? 
Can they bring back the loved, the lost, the dead ? 
Ah ! no — she sleeps the last long sleep of Death ; 
Clasped in his arms, chilled by his icy breath. 

But will she 7iever wake again ? — this fair young thing — 
Yes ! she will wake when the last trump shall bring 
His startling call to rouse the sleeping dead : 
She shall awake and leave her narrow bed ; 



IIS HIsrOKV AM) AN iUjUniEy. ;^;^ 

AVho died in faith, shall surely rise with joy, 
To meet her Lord, triumphant, in the sky ; 
And go with Him — a trophy of His love — 
To live for ever in the realms above. 

Then, tried and suffering mourners, cease to weep ; 
Your loved one " is not dead ; " she does but sleep. 
Look forward, in the hope to meet again, 
"Where shall be no more parting, no more pain. 

"Bromsgrovc Parisli Magazine,"*' September, i86S. 

The Bromsgrove Messenger of July 2nd, 1870, has the following: "One more 
beautiful object has been added to the many with which our noble parish church 
is enriched, by the pious munificence of the Rev. H. AV. More-Molyneux, who has 
filled in the large west window with exquisitely painted glass, as a sacred tribute 
to the memory of his late wife, whose lamented death occurred so soon after her 
marriage. The subject of the painting on the window is the ' Parable of the Ten 
Virgins,' and the work has been executed by M. Capronnier, of Brussels. It is the 
only work of the kind executed by that artist in this county, and the largest window 
erected by him in this country. The design and execution are excellent, and the 
' story ' of the parable is so well and so plainly told by the picture, that it must 
be ' read ' at once by the most casual observer — if by any possibility there can be a 
' casual observer ' of an object so beautiful and attractive. The figures, of which 
there are twelve (thirteen) — the Redeemer, two angels, and the ten virgins— arc 
Ufe size, and there are smaller figures of angels in the upper lights of the window. 
The background and general ornamentation are appropriate and effective, and the 
rich and glowing colours in which the whole is depicted have a charming effect, 
and render the window ' a thing of beauty ' and ' a joy for ever.' " 

The subject of the window, the writer is informed, was taken from a fresco in a 
church in Herefordshire, and cost the donor upvrards of ^600. 

At the restoration of the church, the whole of the windows (except tlic ilircc then 
filled with stained glass) were reglazed with Hartley's rolled cathedral glass ; new 
saddle bars and stanchions, with fleur-de-lis heads, being inserted in each. 

■■ In January, 1866, appeared the first monthly number of a "Bromsgrovc Parish Magazine." 
It was issued to subscribers at is. 6d. per year, and contained much parochial information. In 1S70 
the payment was increased to 2s., and in December, 1 871, the work was discontinued. 



34 



KRO.MSGKONl:: CHURCH 




REVIOUS to the introduction of gas into the town, in 1S35, the churcli 
was lighted, when necessary, by means of candles. In the nave, 
suspended by a massive iron chain from a beam, was a large brass 
chandelier, which was purchased on March 21st, 1773, at a cost of ^^22 15s. This 
chandelier was removed on June 29th, 1854, by order of two of the church- 
wardens who were then in office, and placed in the tower gallery. Great difficulty 
was experienced in its removal on account of its great weight, but the work was 
successfully carried out by Mr. Jonathan Brazier, who made a platform on the 
high pews, and a ladder being held perpendicularly by four men, he ascended 
and unhooked the chandelier, and by means of ropes it was lowered to the 
ground. 

On Sunday, September nth, 1836, the church was lighted for the first time 
by gas. The cost of the fittings necessary for the church and churchyard amounted 
tO;^i26 15s. 6d., and of this sum ;^i22 los. was collected by subscription. In a 
manuscript note the writer has met with the statement is made that there was not 
a gas meter in the church till September 12th, 1847. (?) The arrangements for the 
artificial lighting at present in use are by Mr. Skidmore, of Coventry. The brass gas 
standards are beautiful in design and workmanship : those in the chancel have 24, 
and those in the nave 16 lights each. In addition there is a suspended chandelier in 
the chancel having 24 lights. 

The " Bromsgrove Almanack" records that the first evening service in the church 
was on May 22nd, 1836. 

The church was formerly heated by means of ordinary coal stoves, for we 
read that new stoves were purchased in 1844, at a cost of ^21 los. each, exclusive 
of piping, and were used for the first time on Sunday, October 20th, in that year. 
At the restoration of tlie church, in 1859, the stoves were done away with, and 
the building heated by hot air on an improved plan, carried out by Mr. Harper, 
of Birmingham. 

The heating apparatus being found defective for the proper warming of the 
church, was, in 1872, altered and improved, at a total cost of ;,{^i22 17s. 4d. The 
churchwardens, in a circular issued by them shortly afterwards, state that "they 
hope the completion of the heating apparatus will add to the comfort of the 
congregation." 




ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 35 

g)rga^^isf, &c. 

EFORE an organ was placed in the church, the musical portion of tlie 
service was supphed by means of fiddles,* &c. Amongst the last persons 
who played instruments in the church were : ^^'illiam Rose and Richard 
Byng, bassoons ; Joseph Smith, clarionet ; Perks Brothers, French horns. Flutes, 
fiddles, &c., were also used, but time has erased from memory the names of those 
who i)laycd them. 

The choir was a voluntary one, consisting of ladies and gentlemen, who occupied 
the old " singers' gallery " at the west end. 

By an indenture, bearing date July loth, 17S7, Simon Crane loft a rent charge of 
20s. per year, to be disposed of "in or towards accommodating the singing-loft in 
the parish church of Bromsgrove and the choir of singers to be there assembled at 
Divine worship, with instruments of music, books, instructing boys to sing, or in 
such other manner incident thereto as the said vicar and churchwardens for the time 
being or the major part of them should see fit, and to no other purpose whatsoever." 

The first organ used in the church was placed in the " organ gallery "f under the 
tower, and in rear of the choir, in 1S09. It was opened on July 9th, by Mr. B. Simms, 
at that time organist of St. Philip's Church, Birmingham, and cost ;z^75o, the amount 
being collected by subscription. Mr. Elliot, of Tottenham Court Road, London, 
was the builder. The first organist appointed was Mr. James Simms (a brother 
to the one above-mentioned), who held the office 44 years, at the expiration of 
which term he resigned. During the last nine years his son, Mr. John Simms, 
officiated for him, and at his father's resignation, a meeting was held at the Town 
Hall at wliich tlie son was appointed successor, but he, immediately on appointment, 
resigned, and Mr. J. B. Tirbutt, the present organist, was elected. 

Mr. James Simms died June 24th, 1854, at the ripe old age of 84. A stone, 
near the north door of the church, is erected to his memory. The schemes of the 

* " The introduction of llie fiddle into the church was probably copied from the French. We are 
told that Charles II. established a band of 24 violins, in imitation of his brother monarch's band at 
Paris, which gave occasion to Dr. Urfey's famous song of '4 and 20 fiddlers all in a row.' The king 
was not content to kee]3 his ' fiddlers ' exclusively to the court, but introduced them into the sacred 
worship of the Royal Chapel. John Evelyn, in his diary, says : 'I went to the Chapel Royal, but 
soon came away, quite sick with what I had heard. The solemn organs did no longer play, but 
instead thereof, 4 and 20 fiddles, as though the devil himself had been among them. Made up my 
mind to go there no more, but to speak to the king about it.'" — Mr. J. Noake, in "The Rambler."' 

+ On July 19th, 1S09, ^100 was voted from the parish rales towards this gallery. — "Dromsgruvc 
Almanack.' 



36 liKOMSCKOVJ': CHURCH : 

special services on behalf of tlie Sunday scliools, the choir, in aid of the organist's 

salary, and on other occasions, shew that he was a man of considerable ability, both 

as a writer and composer of music, many of the pieces performed at those services 

being his own production. Other members of his family appear to have been gifted 

in the like manner, for their names also appear in the schemes as writers or 

composers. 

The remuneration to the organist was ^j^so, paid out of the weighing machine 

fund, whilst such fund sufficed, after which the amount was made up by collections 

or other means. In the Worcester He7-ald, of May loth, 1834, we notice the following 

advertisement :— SACRED MUSIC. 

On SUNDAY NEXT, MAY nth, a SELECTION of 
.SACRED MUSIC, from the most esteemed Authors, will be 
performed in BROMSGROVE CHURCH, under the direction of 
MR. SIMMS, Organist; when a Collection will be made in aid 
of his Salary and the support of the Choir. 

The salary of the organist at the present time is ^50 per annum. 

The organ blower, Thomas Wainwright, wore the uniform appertaining to his 
office, viz., a green cloth coat with scarlet tippet, and tall silk hat with gold band. 

The present organ is by Mr. Nicholson, of Worcester, and cost ;£zZ^ ^'^^ the one 
formerly in use. It is a splendid instrument, occupying a position at the east end of 
the north aisle. It has three manuals or rows of keys. The great organ has 10 stops, 
CC to G, 56 notes : i, open diapason ; 2, ditto ; 3, stop diapason bass ; 4, clarabella 
treble ; 5, principal ; 6, harmonic flute ; 7, twelfth ; 8, fifteenth ; 9, mixture — three 
ranks; 10, trumpet. The choir organ has eight stops, CC to G, 56 notes : i, open 
diapason ; 2, viol di gamba ; 3, stop diapason bass ; 4, stop diapason treble ; 
5, dulciana ; 6, flute ; 7, dulcet ; 8, cremona. The swell organ has 10 stops, CC to 
G, 56 notes : i, bourdon ; 2, double dulciana ; 3, open diapason ; 4, stop diapason ; 
5, flute; 6, principal; 7, piccolo; 8, doublette ; 9, oboe; 10, cornopean. The 
pedal organ, CCC to F, 30 notes : i, open diapason, i6ft. ; 2, bourdon, i6ft. ; 
3, spare slide. Couplers : Cit. to pedals, ch. to pedals, sw. to pedals. Sforzando 
pedals : Sw. to great, sw. to choir, ch. to great. Three composition pedals to great 
organ, three concussion valves. All the trebles are made of the best spotted metal. 

The present choir, of which Mr. Charles Fowler is leader, consists of about 
16 boys (who receive a small gratuity for their attendance), and gentlemen, who give 
tlieir services voluntarily. Tluy occupy four seats — two on either side of the chancel 
— nearest the nave, and wear surplices during Divine service. There is an annual 
collection in aid of the choir funds, and till quite recently the accounts of the choir 
were kept separate from those of the churchwardens, but they are now amalgamated. 
A choirmaster was formerly paid /?5 i)cr year, but the office was dispensed with 
some four or five years ago. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



37 




Blessed is hee y*^ 
considereth the 

Psal : 41 : i : 



poore 



^6c 4^fin6, (^ffcxtoxx^, (§.imxcinvaxbexM^^ &c. 

N the vestry is an ahns box,* probably of the 17th century, which was 

formerly fastened up in the body of the church. It is painted, and has 

on the front three trunk locks, underneath which, and at the back, are 

the words, painted in red — 

|,Um^mI)fv tht poorc: 
And at the ends — - 

God loueth 

a cheerefuU 

giuer : 2 : Cor : 

9 : Cha : Ver : 7 : 

At a meeting of the parishioners, shortly after the restoration of the church 
(July 17th, 1859), it was decided, "That the money required for the celebration of 
Divine Service and for the expenses annually incurred by the Church Wardens, the 
organist's salary, the Lighting and Heating of the church, Src, shall be discharged 
by the weekly offertory." 

At a meeting of the congregation, held in the vestry of the parish church, on 
July 28th, 1870, the Vicar in the chair, it was proposed by Mr. Jefferies, seconded by 
Mr. John Green, and carried unanimously, "That the weekly morning offertory 
be made, and that the collections in the afternoons and evenings on the last Sundays 
in the month be also made as at present ; that all moneys go to one common fund ; 
that the division of money for the poor, taken on an average of seven years, be 
arranged by the \'icar and Churchwardens ; and that, on not exceeding six Sundays 
in the year, the morning offertory be devoted to such purposes as the Vicar and 
Churchwardens may think proper." 

Since July i6th, 187 1, collections have been made at the close of each morning 
and evening service, and the amount given away by the vicar and churchwardens 
to the poor out of the offertory was reduced from ^1 to 15s. per month, when 
a separate district was assigned to the new church of All Saints. 



* An Act of Parliamenl, passed in 1536 {27 Henry VIII. c. 25), orders, under a penalty of 20s., 
the gathering and procuring of charitable and voluntary alms for the relief of the poor t*^//// a box, 
any Sunday, holiday, or other festival ; and further ordains that the money so gathered shall be kept 
in the common coffer or box standing in the church. In "Articles to be followed and observed 
according to the King's Majesty's Injunctions and Proceedings," and issued in 1549, is the following 
direction : — "/Av;/. That after the Homily, every Sunday, the Minister exhort the people — especially 
the communicants — to remember the poor men's box with their charity." The disuse into which the 
alms box fell in the l8th century is shown by the painter-satirist, Hogarth, who, in one of his works, 
introduces the alms box with the aperture in the lid covered with a cobweb. There is no reason to 
lielieve the rel)uke, thus conveyed, was undeserved. 



35 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

The present poor boxes are of oak, and were ]jlaccd in the church in 1868. 
At the conclusion of the evening service on the last Sunday in each month these 
boxes are oi)ened by the churchwardens. 

The collecting plates are of oak, turned, and are eight in number. Those 
formerly used were of pewter, and the collections — some four or five in number 
during the year — were made at the church doors. 

It seems to have been the custom here, time out of mind, to elect four church- 
wardens annually on Easter Monday, and they — by virtue of that office — became 
"overseers." Two of the wardens are named by the vicar, and are called "vicar's 
wardens," and two are elected by the parishioners at the meeting — of which due 
notice is given — and are called "people's wardens." 

Amongst the many duties which a churchwarden was expected to perform, years 
ago, was " to see that the Lord's day be duly observed ; search alehouses on 
Sundays ; and if they find any persons therein, during Divine service, they are 
to make them pay 3s. 4d., and also is. for being absent from church ; and the 
master of the house shall forfeit los." i James I. c. 9. 

In the parish books we find that it was decided, on October 23rd, 1673, "That 
the Four pounds levied upon several persons for not coming to church shall go 
to put out apprentices, and the Rent'.- of the Flats and the interest of Mr. Edkins' 
gift, ^10." 

The churchwardens' expenses were defrayed by the overseers from 1796 to 181 7, 
when the church rate was again allowed. At this period (1796) we find record 
in the parish books of the custom of the parishioners, at the conclusion of their 
meetings, to adjourn to some inn — the " White Hart," the " Dolphin," &c., and 
to regale themselves at the expense of the parish ; such entries as " good tap," " ale 
moderate," frequently occur. 

The following are a few extracts from the parish books relating to the office 
of churchwarden : — 

1683. It is agreed that no churchwarden shall charge more tlian 3s. Cd. at any 
visitation. 

1684. November 7th.— Lt is agreed that all churchwardens shall give in their 
accounts one month after going out of office, and shall be reimbursed 
in two months if out of pocket. 

1688. June 25th. — It is agreed that the ^^prockters" be allowed but lod. at 
the visitation, and that no churchwarden shall have his levys abated. 

1 7 18. It is ordered that the churchwardens be allowed 2s. at any visitation in 
Bromsgrove. 

1770. It is agreed to put Walter Creswell in the Bishop's Court for the levys 
and to bear the churchwardens harmless. 



ITS HISTORY A\n ANTIQUITIES. 39 

On February 14th, 1839, there was an anti church rate disturbance in the town, 
and a subscription Ust was started "to defray the law expenses attending the 
prosecution of Nicholas Hill and others for a church rate riot, Hill being one of the 
churchwardens," the amount subscribed amounting to upwards of ;!^85o. On January 
31st, i860, according to the "Bromsgrove Almanack," a meeting was held in support 
of church rates. 




|HE vestry contains a valuable collection of i6th and 17th century 
books,* chiefly on theology. A register is kept of books taken away, 
when taken, by whom, and when returned. Many of these books are 
valuable, and at the present time are exposed on shelves ; it is certainly desirable 
that some means should be taken to make them more secure. The works are 
as follow : — ■ 

Osiander Histor : Eccles : ist to 4th Centuries. 1607. 
do. do. 5th to 6th do. 1607. 

do. do. yth to 15th do. 1608. 

do. do. 1 6th do. 160S. 

Origen contra Marcionitas, &:c. 1673. 
Histor : Papatus, a Philippus Mornceus. 1662. 
On Testaments and Last Willes. Swinburne. 1590. 
The Interpreter, or Booke, containing- the Signification of ^^'ords. John 

Cowell. 1637. 
Clarke's Praxis. 1684. 

(This has a book label of John Waugh, Chancellor of Carlisle.) 
Philip of Mornay's Booke concerning Trewnes of Christian Religion. 

Translated by Sir Philip Sidney. 
Motives to Holy Living. 1688. 
Descartes Principia I'hilosophio;. 1656. 
Les Plees del Coron : 

(This has book mark of John Waugh.) 
Sir "J'homas Ridley's Ci\ile and Ecclesiastical! Law. 1634. 

"" Libraries were, at a very early period, collected and kepi in connection with churches, which 
were furnished, not merely with the Scriptures in the original and in translations, together with books 
necessary for the church service, but with commentaries, homilies, catechisms, and theological works. 
These libraries were of great importance, and often were vcrv extensive. 



40 nR0MSGR6VE CHURCH : 

H. Grotii de Iniperio Summarum Poleslatum circa sacra Commentarius 

Postumus. 1 648. 
Pomponii melte de situ orbis, &c. 1685. 
Hierocles. (Greek and Latin.) 1673. 
S. dementis Epist : ad Corinthios. 1669. 
S. Petri Epist : Explic : Amesius. 1635. 

Examen Responsionis Fausti Socini, per Joannem Junium. 1628. 
Opus Caroli magni, &c. i549- 
Theophilus ad Autolycum. 1684. 

Nemesius de Natura Hominis. (Greek and Latin.) 167 1. 
l^^pist : IV., de Turcis, &c, 1674. 
Salmasii Responsio ad Johannem Miltonum. 1660. 
Quajstionum Juris Civilis Centuria. R. Zouchei. 1660. 
Theses Theolog : Sedanenses. 1675. 
Theses Theolog: Sedanenses. 1683. 
Prcelectiones Theolog : per Joan Davenantium. 1631. 
Opera Theolog : Curcellsei. 1675. 

(Donation of Jno. Fitch, of Dorchester, 1689.) 
De Monachatu. Hospinianus. 
Rationale Divinorum Officiorum. 

Origenis Dialogus contra Marcionitas. (Greek and Latin.) 1624. 
Codex Canonum Eccles : Primit : a Beveregio. 1678. 
Origenis Contra Celsum : (Greek and Latin.) idll- 
Philosophia Vetus et Nova, 2 vols. 1684. 
Orphan's Legacy. J. Godolphin. 1685. 

(Has Jno. Waugh's book mark.) 
Abridgment of Eccles : Laws. J. Godolphin. 1687. 
Exposition of Judiciall Lawes. John Weemse. Vols. 2 and 3. 1636. 
Polit : Eccles : 2 vols. Parker. 1 6 1 6. 
The Countrey Justice. Dalton. 1622. 

(Book mark of John Waugh.) 
De Jurisdictione Lnperiali. Schardius. 1566. 
Origenis Opera, 2 vols. 
Forbesii Opera, 2 vols. 1703. 
Centur : Magdeburg : 8 vols. 1589. 
S. Chrysostomi Opera, 8 vols. 161 2. 
S. Augustini Opera, 5 vols. 16 16. 
Jansenii Augustinus. 1652. 

Chronicon Eccles : Grsca; Cyprii, &c. (Greek and Latin.) 1679. 
A Supplement to the Morning Exercise. 1676. 



ITS HlSTOKV AND AMlgLTl lES. 4I 

Theologia Speculativa, by R. Ficldes, B.D. 1718. 

Nizolius. (Front pa7-t lost.) 

De Dieu in Acta Apost. Ludovico. 1634. 

Epiphanii Opera, 2 vols. 1682. 

Goldasti Monarchia Imperii Romani. 1612. 

Goldasti Politica Imijcrialia. 1640. 

Cornelii a Lapide Opera, 3 vols. 16 18. 

Collectio Conciliorum. Stephanus Baluzius. Vol. i. 1683. 

Concordance. Cotton and Newman. 1643. 

Whitakeri Opera Theolog : 2 vols, in i. 1610. 

Foxe's Martyrs, 2 vols. 1631. 

Cyrilli et Synesii Opera. (Greek and Latin.) 1640. 

Heptas Praesulum. 1639. 

Hist : Rerum in Orien : 1587. 

Origenis Omnia Opera, 2 vols. 

Bulli Opera Omnia. 1703. 

Bibliotheca Sancta, a Sixto Senensi. 16 10. 

Erasmi Adagia. 1539. 

D. Chamieri Panstratiae Catholica;, 2 vols. 1629. 

The Soule's Conflict with it Selfe. R. Sibbes. 1635. 

The Sanctuary of a Troubled Soul. 

On the last leaf of this book is written — 

" The truth in this I am sure is tould 
Dispise it not because its old 
Peruse it well and you will find 
A cordial fitted for the mind " 

Many of the volumes retain their original bindings, whilst others have been 
rebound and trimmed. A large number of the works appear to have belonged 
to a " Tho : TuUie," as that name occurs very frequently on the first or second 
leaf of the books. 







42 j!KO.m.sc;rove church : 

[paviftc^ at t&e ^ispo^at of U}c "^icar 
axxb (^£}nxci)roaxbcxxB. 

|0 for as this work is concerned, it Avould be out of place to deal with 
the charities of the town generally, and this notice is confined to those 
in which the vicar and churchwardens are particularly interested. 
In 1 701. " It is agreed that the church wardens shall provide a handsome ' table ' 
to hold the charities of this parish." 

In 1708. "It is agreed that the church wardens have 2 'tables' for the gifts 
of the charity school." 

At the present time only one tablet is left, and that is in the vestry, and is 
as follows : — 

A table expressing the names of those which have ben 
benefactors to the ffreeschoole & poore of Bromesgrove 

The worthy Staffords doale xx yerely for ever to y^ poore to be dealt at Christm. 

and Easter. 
A\'illiam Balis of Bromesgrove gent, gave : 2 : Closes called Chandlers, nowe being 

let at v' pr. ann^- to be payd to the poore yerely for ever. 
^William Sheldon gent: gave v' the interrest thereof to remaine to the poore for ever. 
*Robt- Caldwall of whitford gent : gave v' the interrest thereof to remaine to the 

poore for ever. 
Nicholas Lylly of Bromesgrove gent : gave xx to be dealt yerely for ever, to the poore, 

and to be payed out of the land which he gave to Raynold Lylly in Bromesgrove. 

And also x yerely to the freeschool given by the said Nicholas and Richard Tirier 

of Bromesgrove, and to be payd by John Lylly and his heires. 
* — Palmer of Alcester Butcher gave x^ the interrest thereof to remaine to the poore 

for ever. 
Henry Brooke of Bromesgrove upholster gave x' the interrest thereof to remaine to 

the poore for ever. 
*Thomas Wilkes of Bircott gave xl the interrest thereof to remaine to the poore for 

ever. 
Thomas Chance of the cittie of AVorcester gent : gave xv' the int. thereof to be 

payd to the freeschoole yerely for ever. 

* These donations, amounting to ;^44 los., are supposed to have been laid out at an early 
period, either in the purchase of the closes called "The Flats," or in part of the purchase of the 
land called "The Riddings," which formed part of the Linthurst Farm; but there are no conveyances, 
or other documents relating thereto, now to be found in the possession of the trustees. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 43 

*Ales Tomms of Bromesgrove widd : gave xxx and Willia. Taylor of Ashborough* 
gave XX. both did (will ?) the dole thereof should be dealt in y^ bread to y^ poore 
at church yerely for ever. 

in Ao dni: | J°'"' ^^^'^^^ i | Richard Dureling [ | Church \^^^^. 
{ John Butler j 1 John Boweter j ( Wardens j '^ 

Another table of benefactions, which was in the church at the time of the 
Charity Commissioners' enquiry, in 1832, contained, amongst other donations, 
that of Thomas Jollifife, Esq., of Coston Racket, ;^2o.* 

About 1845, ^ li^*^ of the charities was printed, a copy of which hangs up in the 
vestry. With a few alterations and additions it is as follows : — 



THE B ROMS GROVE CHARITIES, 



WHICH REQUIRE 

THE ATTENTION OF THE MINISTER AND CHURCHWARDENS. 



The Rev. John Welch, who died September i6th, iSoo, bequeathed the sum of 
;!^2o, to be invested in the public funds, or real security ; the interest thereof 
to be paid to the Vicar of Bromsgrove, or his Curate ; to be by them given 
away yearly at Christmas, to such poor persons of that parish as they shall see fit. 
The amount was formerly receivable at the Worcester Old Bank, on the 14th of 
January and July, respectively. — At the Charity Commissioners' enquiry on July 
2nd, 1879, the Vicar said this fund remained in abeyance for some time. It 
now consisted of ^"23 i8s. 8d. New Three Per Cents., from which he obtained 
14s. 4d., distributed in small sums of 2s. each to poor widows. It was not 
considered desirable to distribute this charity in this manner. 

James Ridgway, who died July 23rd, 1839, bequeathed the residue of his personal 
estate, which amounted to ^330 (^170 was invested with the Local Board on 
mortgage of the town rates, and the remainder in Consols), to the Minister and 
Churchwardens of Bromsgrove, for the time being, and their successors in office ; 
to be invested in funded or real security, and the interest thereof to be given 
annually on the 21st of December, in bread, to the deserving poor of the said 
parish. — At the enquiry, it was stated that the deed in relation to this fund could 
not be produced, but Mr. Holyoake said the interest (^12 ids. 3d.) was regularly 
spent in bread. 

* See note page 42. 

F 



44 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

James Wilkinson, who died March, 182 1, bequeathed £,2 annually; payable on 
the 14th of March, to the Churchwardens, out of a field on the Kidderminster 
Road, called Brick-Kiln Field (built upon by Mr. B. Sanders), to keep his tomb in 
Bromsgrove Churchyard in repair — to be cleaned and painted once in seven 
years ; and the overplus to be expended in coals, and divided amongst the inmates 
of the Alms Houses in -the said parish. In the year 1845 receivable of Mr. B. 
Sanders. — This charge is regularly paid by Mr. T. T. Sanders, on account of land 
on which Denmark Cottage is built. 

Joseph Smith, bequeathed the sum of ^5 annually ; payable out of the Clock 
House Estate, at Bournheath, in the parish of Bromsgrove, on the ist of November, 
to the Minister, Churchwardens, and Overseers of the said parish ; to be by them 
expended in "some Woollen Manufacture," the same to be "made up into 
garments," and distributed to some "poor widows, decayed persons, and fatherless 
children, within the parish of Bromsgrove, on St. Thomas's Day." — At the enquiry, 
it was stated that this charity was regularly paid, and distributed by the Church- 
wardens. 

Widow Roberts, left ^40 in trust, to be laid out in some convenient purchase of 
land or property, and, with the consent of the Churchwardens, to distribute the 
rent among twelve poor widows. — It appears that this sum was expended on 
the restoration of two houses in St. John Street, occupied by W. DuffiU and 
another (?) and that the money has never been repaid ; but a sum of ^2, being 
interest at the rate of 5 per cent., is paid to the Churchwardens annually (los. to 
each Churchwarden), and by them distributed, in sums of 3s. 4d. each, to twelve 
poor widows. 

Rev. Thomas Warren, of Inkberrow, in 1867, left;^2oo to the Bromsgrove Burial 
Board, to be invested by them ; the annual income from which — after payment of 
repairs to the tombstone over the grave of his wife in the Bromsgrove Cemetery — 
was to be devoted to the purchase of warm clothing for poor people of the 
congregation of St. John's Church. — At the enquiry, the Inspector said that, 
according to the decision of Fitch v. the Attorney-General, this gift was strictly 
void. The money was stated to have been employed in the purchase of 
_;^2i2 4s. 4d. Three Per Cent. Consolidated Annuities, producing ;,^5 15s. lod., 
given away in flannel at Christmas. The Inspector suggested that this bequest 
should be handed over to the Consolidated Charities. Mr. Amphlett said the mode 
of administering was by tickets, inscribed with the names of each recipient, being 
handed over by the Vicar and Churchwardens to the members of the Burial 
Board. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES, 45 

Mary Mackeg, who died November 24th, 1832, bequeathed the sum of ;^2oo, less 
duty of ^20, to be invested in the pubhc funds, or on mortgage ; the interest 
thereof to be received by the Vicar and Churchwardens of Bromsgrove ; and after 
the payment for duly repairing the monument erected in Bromsgrove Churchyard, 
to the memory of Samuel Mackeg, the remainder to be by them distributed 
on St. Thomas's Day, to poor resident parishioners of the parish of Bromsgrove, 
in sums not exceeding three shillings to any one family in one year. — The money 
was invested in the purchase of land, at the Lickey End, paying 4% per cent., the 
yearly income being ^^8 2s. The deeds are in the parish chest, and the amount 
is regularly received. 

Simon Crane, by deed, dated July loth, 1787, gave to the Vicar and Church- 
wardens of Bromsgrove for the time being, twenty shillings annually ; payable on 
the 28th of October, out of Houses situate near the centre of the south side of 
High Street, Bromsgrove, now the property of the Stourbridge and Kidderminster 
Banking Company ; to be by them expended in Musical Instruments and Books 
for the choir of Singers in Bromsgrove Church ; or, in the instruction of Boys to 
sing in such choir, after providing for the keeping of his brother's tomb in repair. 

The Inspector subsequently read a summary of the charities, from which it 
appeared that the Churchwardens have in their keeping gifts to the number of 
962, viz., 546 bread, 175 flannel, 124 sheets, and 117 dresses. These figures, it 
was stated, always remained about the same. 



Old Swinford Hospital. — The parish of Bromsgrove is entitled to send to this 
institution two boys, nominated by the parishioners in vestry, and recommended 
by the Vicar and Churchwardens. The lads are maintained, clothed, and educated 
in, and apprenticed from the institution. 

Edward Moore, Esq., of Barnt Green, who died in 1746, left an annuity of ^^5 
per annum out of his estate, to be paid to the Vicar of the parish so long as daily 
Prayers shall be read in the said Parish Church, and in default thereof, the ^^5 
to be given away in cloth to the jjoor of the parish. — The amount was secured (!) 
on an estate joining up to Twatling Street, and was for many years received in 
November, and expended in linen cloth ; but when the Earl of Plymouth 
purchased the estate no notice was given of the charge, when, upon a demand 
made, and a subsequent enquiry into the circumstances, it was discovered that the 
grant was void, under the Statute of Mortmain, the deed not having been enrolled, 
and the grantor having died within twelve months of the date. 



46 



DKOMSGROVE CHURCH : 



'^l}e ■§3effvt?. 




|HE belfry, in the tower at the west end of the church, is reached by 
a spiral staircase, the steps of which, at the lower part, are cased in 
oak, on account of the worn condition of the stone. It contains 
an excellent peal of lo behs, which bear the following inscriptions : — 
Treble. Purchased by subscription i8i6 

J. Lawrence of Whitford first subscriber 
T. Mears of London Fecit i8i6 
Thomas Rudhall Glocester Founder 1773 
T. (impression of a bell) R. 1773 When you us ring 

We'll sweetly sing 
God Prosper this Parish A. R. (i?npression of a bell) 1701 
loHN Waugh Vicar T. (impression of a bell) R. 1773 
Rev? D"^ Wingfield Vicar 
W^ Ward Thomas Greening Thos Wright 
Joseph Gabb Churchwardens 18 16 ♦*♦ 
T . , Mears of London Fecit 
John Cromwell Richard Wilkes 
DanV Harris Tho? Taylor 
Ch : Wardens 1773 
The Rev? Tho'^ Fountain Vicar 
In? Aishmore C : Wright I : Badger 

& R: Wilkes Wardens 1790 .>*.♦ 
I to the church the living call 

AND to the grave DO SUMMON ALL 1773* 

The fourth and fifth bells are without canons. The fourth is a maiden bell. The 
ting-tang is dated 1816. 

There appear to have been bells in the tower of Bromsgrove Church from a very 
early period, for on July loth, 1691, " It is agreed that the Ringers shall have but 5 '- 
on any Ringing day except the 5th of November f and then 6'' 6^* and the ringers 
shall not ring without the consent of the churchwardens." At this time there were 
probably five bells, for, on October nth, 1695, " ^^ i^ agreed to cast the five bells 



Second. 

Third. 

Fourth. 

Fifth. 

Sixth. 
Seventh. 



EiKhth, 



Ninth. 



Tenor. 



* A great many of the bells cast by Rudhall bear this inscription. 

t In 1705, "It is agreed that the Ringers shall have 10/- for ringing on the 5th of November;" 
and in 1718, "It is agreed that the Ringers have lo/- on the 5th November and King's Coronation 
and 6/8 on other ringing days." 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 47 

into six the same being out of repair." In 1701, "It is agreed that Abram Rudhall 

shall new cast the six Bells and the Bell at the Town Hall and that the clock 

and chimes be repaired." Only one of these bells so recast (the fifth) is left in 

the tower. On March 21st, 1773, "It was agreed to have three of the Bells 

new cast and two new ones to make eight." On the same date, Thomas Rudhall, of 

Gloucester, was instructed to perform the work, the cost of which was ^117 i6s., 

towards which sum ;^Sj ^5^- 4^- "was collected by a town subscription. The 

bells which were new and recast were the third, fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenor. In 

1790, the present ninth bell was recast; and in November, 1815, a subscription 

for adding two other bells — the treble and second — and for recasting the present 

seventh, was started, when John Lawrence, of Whitford, "first subscriber," gave ^10. 

These bells, with the ting-tang, were cast by Thomas Mears, of London. On 

November 22nd, 18 15, Mr. Thomas Paul, of Bristol, was agreed with by the 

inhabitants and churchwardens to " rehang, repair, and tune the bells, with the 

following amendments for different charges : " 

£ s. d. 
8 Pairs of new Brasses and turned Gudgeons 10 o o 

8 new rings to the Bell wheels with four iron stays and ( 

2 coupUng screw bolts to each j ^" ° ° 

8 new guide wheels to receive the Ropes from the Bell |^ 

wheels and stays to fix the same on j ^ ° ° 

8 new ash stays, sHdes, and rests to support the Bells | 

when up, each stay to be fixed to the stock with iron .-500 
screw bolts j 

Repairing all the iron work of the hangings and Japanning ) 

the same | 4 o o 

Workmanship 12 o o 

Tuning the 8 Bells 500 

I agree to the above Thomas Paul ^=^ 

John Adams George AVhite Benjamin Tilt 

Will. Ward John Rose William Haden 

John ^Vatterson James Tandy 

Tho. Amphlett Thom. Wright 

The staging of the bells was again repaired in 187 1, at a cost of about ^25, and 
the first peal after the completion of the work was rung on Thursday, July 27th, 
1871, to welcome Mr. William Holyoake, the senior churchwarden, and his bride on 
returning from their wedding tour. The formal opening ringing did not take place till 
Monday, September nth, 187 1, when ringers attended from Worcester, Birmingham, 
Chaddesley Corbett, and Belbroughton, and rung out merry peals during the greater 



48 BROMSGROVE CHURCH J 

part of the day. Later in the day about 40 ringers partook of a substantial repast at 
the Golden Lion Lin ; the Rev. G. W. Murray, vicar, })resided. There were also 
present — Rev. LI. Jones (curate). Rev. J. B. Wilson, Messrs. W. Holyoake, A. Bennett, 
J. R. Horton, and S. Saywell, churchwardens, and others. 

On February, i8th, 1703, it was agreed, "That Thomas Hemming, the sexton, 
shall have 25/- more than the clerk allows him for ringing the bell at 4 o'clock in the 
morning and at eight at night, to be payed yearly to him, or any one the church- 
wardens think proper." On December 2nd, 1730, it was agreed, "That William 
Taylor, Clerk, shall have 30/- per year for winding up the church clock and chimes 
and shall have 25 '- for ringing the bell at 4 o'clock in the morning and 8 at 
night as allowed to Richard Hemming." The morning bell, for many years rung 
at four o'clock, and afterwards at five o'clock, is now discontinued altogether; but 
the curfew still 

Tolls the knell of parting day. 

Every evening, at eight o'clock, a bell is rung for about five minutes ; after which, on 
the tenor bell, the day of the month is chimed, as, for instance, on the first day 
of the month the bell is chimed once ; on the second, twice ; and so on every 
evening throughout the year, except on Sundays, when neither the eight o'clock bell 
or the day of the month is tolled. On Saturday evenings the bell is rung at seven 
instead of eight o'clock. The origin of this custom is that William the Conqueror, 
by his partiality for his Norman followers created many enemies, and to prevent them 
holding seditious meetings he ordered a bell to be rung every evening at eight 
o'clock, at which time all fires and candles were to be put out or covered. From 
that time till the present, upwards of 800 years, the eight o'clock bell has been 
known as the curfew, or cover bell. There is yet another trifling circumstance, 
which all may not have noticed. When a male corpse is about to be buried in 
our cemetery, "the passing" bell is tolled three times three, both at the commence- 
ment and conclusion of tolling time ; and in the case of a female corpse, it is tolled 
three times two only. This custom has prevailed here probably for centuries."* 

On December 5th, 1774, " It is agreed at this Vestry that Whereas there was at a 
former meeting by a sett of Ringers Agreed with the Church Wardings that if the 
parish could have Eight Bells they could Ring the Fixd Ringing Days in Every 
Year for three years without having aney i)ay from the church wardings for so 
Ringing untill the 29 May 1776 they having the privelidge and proffits for Ringing 

* The tolling of bells at the decease of a person, and at funerals, was originally an expedient 
of a superstitious age to frighten away demons that were supposed to be hovering around to prey 
upon the spirit of the dead or dying. This superstition was widely extended during the dark ages. 
Bells were often rung with violence also, during a tempest, to frighten away demons, and avert the 
storms which they were supposed to raise. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



49 



for Weddings and on aney other O cation untill the end of the Terme and whereas 
part of the same Ringers did Refuse and Neglect to ring on the 26"' Oct. last Whe 
do exclude all such ringers from all Benefits that shall arise from Ringing and 
whe do chuse the under written to ring according to the former agreement and 
in case aney one of them Die the church-warding shall elect another." 

Bromsgrove has long been noted for its change ringing, and in the bell-ringers' 
loft are four tablets recording some extraordinary feats in the campanological art, 
especially one on the 29th of December, 1788. To the general reader these tablets 
will not possess much interest, but to those acquainted with the mysteries of change 
ringing they will be welcome. 

Change Ringing. 



On Monday Deer. 31st 1787 was rung at 

the Parish Church of Bromsgrove, 

by the United Society of this place, 

in 6 hours and 33 Minutes a Compleat 

Peal of Bob Major Containing 10 192 

changes, By the following Persons : 

J Ledbury Treble, C Ravenscroft 2nd 

J Ravenscroft 3rd G Thomson 4th J Dunn 5th 

T Brooke 6th W Johnson 7th B Tilt & R Brooke 8th 

On the 29th of December 1788, was rung at the 

above Place a true Peal of Bob Major 

containing 12000 Changes in 7 hours and 

38 Minutes, by the following Persons : 

J Ledbury Treble, J Tandy 2nd R Brooke 3rd 

J. Rose 4th C Ravenscroft 5th T Brooke 6th 

B Tilt & W Johnson 7th G Thomson & J Dunn 8th 

The above Peals were composed and 

conducted by Mr C Ravenscroft. 

On the 26 of Deer 1816, Was rung at the 
above Place a true Peal of Grandsire Royal con- 
taining 5160 changes in 3 hours & 35 Min 
utes By the following persons : J Barrett 
treble, B Tilt 2nd J Rose 3rd T Pose 4th J Tandy 5th 
B Ravenscroft 6th J Skidmore 7th R Pearce 8th 
W Rose 9th G Rose Tenor. On the 18 of August 
181 7 Was rung at the above place a true Peal 
of Oxford Treble Bob Royal containing 
5000 changes in 3 hours and 20 minutes, by the 
following Persons ; R Brooke Treble, R Pea 
rce 2nd T Ravenscroft 3rd T Rose 4th J Rose 5th 
B Ravenscroft 6th J Skidmore 7th B Tilt 8th 



J Ledbury 9th W Rose Tenor. On the 8th of 

Octr 1827, Was rung at Bromsgrove a true 

Peal of Bob Major comprising 3040 Cha 

nges, in 3 hours and 9 minutes : By the follow 

ing Persons, S Giles Treble, J Duffill 2nd 

E Pearce 3rd J Tandy 4th R Pearce 5th W Crumji 

6th J Ledbury 7th R Wright 8th. On the 30th of 

Octr 1827 Was rung at Bromsgrove, a true 

Peal of Grandsire Cators comprising 

61 II Changes, in 4 hours and 10 minutes, 

By the following Persons : S Giles Treble, 

J Duffill 2nd J Rose 3rd E Pearce 4th W Rose 5th 

W Crump 6th R Pearce 7th Who composed 

and conducted the peal. R Wright 8th 

J Ledbury 9 T Facer tenor. On the 18 of 

Feby. 1828, Was rung at Bromsgrove a true 

Peal of Kent Treble Bob Major comprising 

5,088 changes in 3 hours and 7 minutes By the 

following Persons : J Ledbury Treble, J Duffill 

2nd E Pearce 3rd W Crump 4th J Rose 5th R Pearce 

6th R Wright 7th W Rose Tenor. On the 21 of July 

1843, ^^^'^s rung at Bromsgrove a true Peal of 

Grandsire Tripples comprising 5040 cha 

nges, in 3 Hours & 4 Minutes, By the following 

Persons, J Duffill Treble R Pearce 2nd 

W Coley 3rd J Amess 4lh Coley 5th J Iliggs 6lh 

I Overton 7th J Hall Tenor. On the 29th of Octr 

1853, Was rung at Bromsgrove a true Peal 

of Grandsire Tripples comprising 5040 

Changes in 2 Hours & 58 Minutes, By the 

following persons, M Wright Treljle, 

W Duffill 2nd W Chatties 3rd R Wright 4th J Duf 

fill 5th J Robinson 6th I Overton 7th W Hill Tenor 



50 bromsgrove church : 

Change Ringing. 

On Monday, Novr. 3rd 1856, Was 

performed upon the Bells 

of the Parish Church of 

Bromsgrove, a true peal of 

Grandsire Tripples contain 

ing 5040 Changes, in three 

Hours and one Minute, By 

the following Persons : 

W. Danby Treble J. Brain 5 th 

T Rose 2nd W Duffill 6th 

J Evans 3rd I Overton 7th 

J Duffill 4th W Jones Tenor 

The above Peal was conducted 

BY MR. W. DUFFILL. 

Change Ringing. 
On Monday Jan^ 26, 1863, Was rung by the 

Society of Change Ringers Bromsgrove, 
with the assistance, of Messrs. B & J Bate 
of Bellbroughton a true Peal of Grandsire 
Tripples, containing 5040 Changes in 2 hour'' 
and 58 Minutes: By the Following Persons 



Williain Danhy Treble 

James Bate 27id 

Joseph Rose jrd 

Joseph Evans 4th 



Bejijatnin Bate 5th 

William Duffill 6th 

Isaac Overton yth 

Frederick Wris:ht Tenor. 



On Monday May i'.' 1865. Eight of the 

Society of Change Ringers Bromsgrove, 

ascended the Tower of the Old 

Church Kidderminster and succeeded 

in ringing a complete Peal of Grandsire 

Tripples, containing 5040 Changes in 3 

Hours & 1 1 Minutes : By the Following Persons 



William Danby Treble 
Samuel Crowther 2nd 
Elijah Crump jrd 

Charles Hatton 4th 



Joseph Evans ^th 

William Duffill 6th 

Reube7i Broomfield yth 

James Parry Tenor. 



N.B. There had not been a Peal rung upon 
the bells of the Old Church since April 29"' 1765. 

The above peals 7i'ere conducted by \Y^^ Duffill. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



51 



Change Ringing. 

On Tuesday, Feby 13th 1866, Eight of 

the Society of Change Ringers 

Bromsgrove ascended the Tower 

of this Church and rung a true 

Peal of Grandsire Tripples contain 

ing 5040 Changes in 3 Hours and 2 

Minutes, By the Following Persons 



George Perrygrove Treble 
George Bouitie 2nd 
yoseph Evans 3rd 
Charles Ha/toJt 4th 



William Duffill S^^i 
Elijah Crump 6th 
Reuben Broomjield jth 
James Parry Tenor. 



CONDUCTED BY W. DUFFILL 



On Alonday, April 2nd 1866, Was rung a 

true Peal of Grandsire Gators con- 
taining 5095 Changes in 3 Hours and 16 
Minutes, By the Following Persons, 



John Wood Treble 
George Bourne 2nd 

Elijah Cnimp jr(/ 
William Dan by ^fh 

Joseph Evans ^th 



Charles Hatton 6th 
Reuben Broomjield "jth 
William Duffill 8th 
Isaac Overton gth 

James Parry Tenor. 



Conducted by \V. Duffill 



On Monday, October i8th 1869* was rung 

a true Peal of Grandsire Gators con 

taining 5004 Changes in 3 Hours and 15 

Minutes By the Following Persons. 

Charles Hatto7i 6th 
Reube/i Broomjield yfh 
William Duffill 8th 
Isaac Overton gth 

James Parry Tenor. 
Conducted by W Duffill 



Jo hi Wood 


Treble 


George Bourne 


2nd 


Elijah Crump 


S'-'i 


William Dan by 


4th 


Joseph Evans 


5th 



The anniversary of the society. 



52 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

In addition to the foregoini', there is a tablet with tlii.s inscription : — 

In Memory of 

Cha'f Ravenscroft 

who died Sep'.'' i8 1812 aged 46 yrs. 

Ah Charles ! thy ringing now is o'er 

Thou'lt call the merry peals no more, 

To Single, nor to Bob, direct 

To give each Change its due effect. 

Nor teach the inexperienced youth 

The course to range with ease and truth 

Of this no more, give up thou must, 

And mingle with thy parents dust 

Into its place thy Bell is come 

And Ruthless death has brought tlie home. 

The following rules,* made in November, 1875, are printed and hung up in 
the belfry : — 

BROMSGROVE 
PARISH CHURCH BELLRINGERS' RULES. 



I. — That the Society of Ringers consist of Ten Members and Two Super- 
numeraries. 

2. — That the Ringers shall appoint from among themselves a Treasurer, to whom 
all Monies shall be paid, and by whom it shall be divided amongst the Ringers ; and 
in case of any dispute, the matter shall be referred to the Vicar and Churchwardens, 
whose decision shall be final. 

3. — That no person shall be admitted into the Society except by the Vicar 
and Churchwardens, and that any Ringer guilty of misconduct, particularly of 
making use of bad Language, or of intoxication while engaged in his duties at the 
Church, shall be reported to the Vicar and Churchwardens, who will instantly dismiss 
such offender from the Society. 

* In the last century the rules of bellringers were often written in verse, and generally jDainted on 
a board and fixed in the belfry. As, for instance, in the belfry of Bredgar — 
" !My friendly ringers, I do declare 
You must pay one penny each oath you do swear 
To turn a bell over 
It is the same fare ; 

To ring with your hats on you must not dare 
MDCCLI " 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 53 

4. — That the Ringers shall undertake to Chime on Sundays, and to perform 
all other duties connected with the Bells, except such as belong to the office of 
Sexton. 

5. — That the Ringers shall be required to appear in the Belfry on the Sabbath 
Day in clean and decent apparel, or be subject to a fine, the amount of which shall 
be determined upon among themselves. 

6. — That any Ringer frequenting a Public-house on a Sunday be expelled from 
the Society. 

7.— That all the Ringers attend Church regularly. 



Names of Ringers. 

1. William Duffillf 6. Walter Rea 

2. Elijah Crump 7. Oliver James 

3. George Bourne 8. Thomas Albutt 

4. James Parry 9. Joseph Crawford 

5. George Hay ward 10. John Perry 

Supernumeraries. 
None. 




HE first known mention of the clock or chimes occurs in 16S4, wlicn 
it was " Agreed that Edward Carter the clerk shall have 20/'- per year to 

J take care of the Bells, ropes &c. and shall have 22;- per year to take 
care of the clock and chimes and 50/- per year to keep them clean." In 1705, it is 
"Agreed that John Spurstone (?) shall have j[^<\ per year to repair and wind up 
the church and Town Hall clocks and chimes and keep them clean." In 1739, it is 
"Agreed to give John and Robert Butler jQi los. per year to keep in repair the 
Bells, clock & chimes & clock at Town Hall in every particular." At a meeting 
held at the Workhouse, February 3rd, 1742, it is "Agreed to give William Southall 
^6 per year to keep the Bells, Clocks, chimes and Town Hall clock in Repair in 

+ Conductor, treasurer, and secretary. 



54 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

every particular & and to give him io'/6'' towards a new pinion wheel." In 1774, it 

is "Agreed to give Rich: Brooke ;^3 per year 'to wind up and clean and finde oyle 

for the clock and chimes.' " In Dr. Nash's view of the church from Hill Top, the 

dial of the clock is shown on the south side of the tower, and is square shaped. 

The present clock was made in 1752. Attached to it was a brass plate, bearing the 

following particulars : — 

C/oi:/^ made 

1752 

Dial- Plate Painted 

1797 
Churchwardens 
Edward Kings 
Wiir. Coiitiard 
Joseph Diiffill 
Stephen Packwood 

On July 6th, 183 1, it was resolved, " That the present Clock Dial shall be taken 
to pieces, that the best of the boards shall be selected and with these the back of a 
new dial shall be formed and that to this back a new front shall be attached — formed 
of well seasoned one inch EngHsh oak." But at the suggestions of Mr. Maund and 
Mr. W. Taylor, it was resolved, " That instead of taking the old dial to pieces — that 
it shall be made true on its face and covered with one inch Honduras Mahogany." 
This was agreed to, and tenders were ordered for painting and gilding the dial. At 
another meeting, on July 12th, tenders were received from John Juggins (^4), and 
from WiUiam Woodhouse (^6), including a lead margin round the clock dial. 

In November, 1848, new hands, &c., were put to the clock, at a cost of ^27, and 
the dial was repaired, and afterwards painted by Samuel Clarkson. 

The chimes still in the tower (unfortunately entirely out of order and repair), 
were made by Edward Draycott, a native of Bromsgrove, by trade a brushmaker, 
and were put up in 1775, at a cost of ;^ 100, which sum included the keeping 
of them in repair for three years. Draycott was ordered to be paid this sum on 
March 8th, 1775. — Vide parish books. In the report of a vestry meeting, held 
on March 4th, 1778, we read, "Whereas the Chimes are now much out of Repair 
ocassioned by one of the Bells being overturned by Reason of which they were 
Damaged by the Rope being Intangled in the work. Ordered that the present 
Churchwardens pay Edward Draycott the sum of Five pounds immediately after the 
Chimes shall be put in good order and that a further sum of Sixteen Pounds shall be 
paid him in Equal proportion for Four Years viz. £,^ per annum. Provided the 
said Edwd- Draycott keep the chimes in good order to the End of the said Term of 
Four years from the date hereof." 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 55 

In 1837, the chimes were repaired by Thomas Bingham, of Birmingham, and the 
" Easter Hymn " and " Life let us Cherish " were added at this time. The second 
part of the latter tune was put on by Joseph Rose, in 1844. At the church 
restoration about ^100 was spent on " the clock, chimes, and belfry ; " and in 1868, 
the chimes and clock were put in order by Messrs. Gillet and Bland, of Croydon, at 
a cost exceeding ^146. Towards this sum ^25 17s. was collected privately, and 
the remainder was carried to the General Church Expenses Fund. After these 
repairs had been executed, the chimes were again heard on March 19th, 1869, when 
the whole series of tunes was run through. They were set to play a different air 
every twenty-four hours, the arrangement being thus — 

Sunday Hanover, or the 104th Psalm. 

Monday Easter Hymn. 

Tuesday National Anthem. 

Wednesday INIoney Musk. 

Thursday Life let us Cherish. 

Friday 113th Psalm. 

Saturday From Morn till Night, or Maggie Lauder. 

To the two first a symphony was arranged by the late Joseph Rose. Shortly after 
(July 26th), the chimes rope broke, and the weights (15 J^ cwt.) fell with a crash to 
the floor, doing some injury. It was ordered that the defect was not to be repaired 
till Mr. Gillet had been communicated with. The result of the communication was 
the substitution of a new steel rope, about the middle of the August following. 

Considering that so much money was spent upon the chimes in 1868, and 
that they have not played for eight or ten years, there is reason to suppose either 
that the work of reparation was badly done, or that the chimes were nearly useless 
when the outlay was made. The money would have been of much greater service 
as a nucleus for providing an entirely new set, on a more approved principle, and 
one in which the strain upon the barrel is not so great. 

The old clock now in the vestry was formerly fixed in the centre of the front of 
the west gallery. 





56 BROMSGROVE CHURCH 



3l^n^^^ axxb ^^owuinexxtB. 

ONSIDERABLE local and historical interest is attached to the 
monuments to be found in the church. Adjoining the south wall, 
on the west side of the south doorway, is a well executed and decorated 
monumental effigy of Mr. George Littleton, counsellor of law. (Plate II.) He 
is represented in a reclining position, his elbow on a cushion and his head resting on 
his hand. He is arrayed in his Serjeant's gown, with a ruff round his neck, and 
a roll in his right hand. The figure rests upon an altar tomb, beneath a semicircular 
arcade, at the crown of which are the initials, G. L. ; above is a horizontal entablature, 
supported at the angles by columns of the Corinthian order ; skulls, torches, hour- 
glasses, and various other devices complete the design. In an escutcheon at the top 
his arms are quartered thus: i, Littleton; 2, Westcote ; 3, Quater7nain ; 4, Biirley ; 
quartering all Shrewsbury s arms, and the arms of Paston. On the right side of the 
monument, Littleton's arms quartering Shrewsbury's single coat ; and on the left, 
Littleton empaling Argent a lion rampant Sable debruized with a fesse counter- 
compony Or and Azure. Under the arch, on the right, Littleton empaling Talbot ; 
on the left, Littleton empaling Stanley, and these quarterings : i. Argent on a bend 
Azure three stags' heads cabossed Or. Stanley. 2. Or on a chief indented Azure 
three plates. 3. Azure three hunters' horns stringed Argent. 4. Gules a chevron 
between three hurts Or, a mullet on the chevron. 5. Or, three chevronels Gules. 
6. Sable six fleurs-de-lis, three, two, and one ; the field replenished with cross 
croslets fiche, a canton Ermine. 7. Azure three fusils Or. 8. Sable a chevron 
between three lozenges. 

At the back of the arcade, on an oblong panel, in incised gilt lettering, is 
the following verse : — 

" Qvi LEGES H.«C, LEGES FATORVM DISCE TVORVM, 
QVAS IPSI NEQVEVNT LEGVM VITARE PERITL 
EccE Lyteltonvs TVMVLO CONCLVDITVR ISTO 
QVI LEGVM PATRI LyTELTONO SANGVINE IVNCTVS, 
IvNCTIOR INGENII EST STVDIIS & DOTIEVS IISDEM 
IVDICIS VT TITVLO PARITER IVNCTISSIMVS ESSEX 
NON INCERTA FIDES ET SPES CERTISSIMA MANSIT, 
InVIDA SVRGENTI SI VIVERE FATA DEDISSENT." 

Georgivs iste ex Rogero PATRE 
Obiit Qvinqvegenarivs 28° Maii 1600. 



Plate 11. 




MP George Lytelton 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 57 

^Vhich translated reads : — 

" Child of this earth, one instant pause, to view 
The doom pronounc'd against thy sinning world. 
The old, the young, the wise, the beautiful, 
Must perish all, and still the fairest first. 
Lo ! Littleton lies here, conjunct in name 
With him, the father of our British law : 
In name alike, but far more close resembling 
In mind, in thought, in talents, in pursuits. 
Oh ! certain fame had shed around her honours, 
Had given his name to rise pre-eminent. 
Defying death, — but envious fate forbade." 

George Littleton was the eldest son of Roger Littleton, who was the fifth son of 
John Littleton, by Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Sir Gilbert Talbot, of Grafton, 
and Anne his wife, coheiress of Sir William Paston. By the will of his uncle. 
Sir John Littleton, Knight, he inherited the manor and farm of Grovelly, in the 
parish of Cofton Racket, and some land near Barnt Green, in Bromsgrove parish, 
called Pynton Fields. He died without issue. May 2Sth, 1600, in which year 
the monument was erected, and it was repaired and redecorated in 1864. Originally 
it stood within the communion rails on the south side of the chancel, and was 
enclosed with iron railings, which were taken down and sold during the time the 
Rev. John Waugh was vicar (i 754-1 777). 

The tomb is a fair specimen of the Elizabethan style of ornamental architecture, 
and by its inscription and display of heraldic decoration, forcibly recalls to the mind 
the well-known words of Gray — 

" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r. 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike th' inevitable hour ; 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave." 

On the north wall of the' chancel, at the extreme west, is a neat and very 
handsome marble monument to the memory of John Hall, D.D., the only son 
of John Hall, vicar of this parish from 1624 to 1652, and grandson of Richard Hall, 
of AVorcester, clothier, by Elizabeth, fiee Bonner, his wife. Dr. Hall was Prebendary 
of Worcester in 1676, and was a scholar of Pembroke Hall, Oxford. He was 
also master of Pembroke College for 45 years, and was consecrated Bishop of 
Bristol in 1691, in the reign of William and Mary. He died at Oxford, February 
Sth, 1 7 10, aged 77 years. On the monument is a long Latin inscription, composed 



58 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

by Rev. William Adams, M.A., once a student of Christ Church, Oxford, and Rector 
of Staunton-upon-Wye, Herefordshire. The following is a translation, made by 
Rev. LI. Jones : — * 

In the Sanctuary of Bromsgrove Church. 



Here lies buried 

JOHN HALL, Doctor of Divinity. 

Born in this town, only son of John, Vicar of this Parish : 

He was Rector of St. Aldate's Church, Oxford ; 

Master of Pembroke College ; 

Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity ; 

Chaplain to King Charles II. ; 

And, at length, in the reign of William III. and Mary, Bishop of Bristol. 

A man of a mind capacious and sublime, of a judgment refined and most acute. 

Who united a knowledge of languages with elegant literature, 

The polite arts with thorny and recondite sciences. 

And, when united, consecrated them to religion ; 

Amidst his multifarious learning, modest, humble, holy. 

His college, over which he successfully watched for xlv. years, 

He taught by his precepts, he ruled by his example, he rendered distinguished 

by his dignity. 

He improved it by new buildings, and a new master's lodge ; 

And, having added to its Scholarships, Fellowships, and Revenues, 

He enriched it with a most valuable selection from his own library. 

While he strictly insisted upon virtuous conduct in others, he likewise liberally 

rewarded it. 
Advanced to the Episcopate by the unanimous consent of Divines, 

He made a timely refutation of Romish and Socinian errors. 

So as more firmly to establish the faith of the Church of England ; 

In his lectures and scholastic disputations 

Clear, ready, subtle, vigorous ; 

* The Rev. Llewellyn Jones was Curate of Bromsgrove from May, 1S64, till June, 1874, 
when he was appointed Vicar of Little Hereford. Previous to leaving Bromsgrove he was presented 
with a handsome testimonial by the inhabitants. He accepted the Bishopric of Newfoundland in 
February, 1878, was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in St. Paul's Cathedral, May ist, 
and preached his farewell sermons in Bromsgrove Church, previous to departing for his see, May 12th, 
in the same year. 



ITS HIbTORY AND AXTiQUlTIES. 59 

And, though a lover of peace, yet a strenuous defender of the truth. 

In the care of souls he was faithful and unwearied, 

And this care, even when raised to the Mitre, and broken by old age, he did not 

lay aside. 

Mindful of others' salvation because mindful of his own ; 

Distributing not merely solid food to adults, 

But to the young and tender also the sincere milk of the ^Vord. 

Faithfully and constantly explaining the principles of the Gospel, 

He equalled the primceval Preachers of the Church, who (as it were) rose again 

in him. 

Amidst Parish Priests, a most consummate Divine ; 

Among Bishops, a most useful Parish Priest ; 

A\'orthy indeed of double honour, 

^^'ho, as a laborious shepherd, and wise clergyman, 

Served his flock by ruling them, and ruled them by serving them. 

In his frequent sermons at Court, at Oxford, in his addresses to the clergy and 

laity, 
An elegant, eloquent, deep, familiar preacher, according to the genius 

of his hearers, 

He gained the praise and veneration of all. 

Becoming all things to all men, that he might by all means win some to Christ. 

He earned dignities, without asking courtiers for them ; 

Those, however, which were spontaneously offered, he retained with honour, 

Only not refusing them, in order to benefit as many as possible ; 

Riches he neglected, unless to spend them on the poor — 
To those his house was ever a ready refuge and a treasury, 

Amongst these he divided his patrimony. 

Making abundant provision — for this neighbourhood especially — 

So that when dead he might support those whom he daily fed while alive. 

He made the poor his residuary legatees, 

In order to find treasure in heaven. 

He died at Oxford, Feb, 4, 17 10, in the 77th year of his age. 

Under the inscription is a Death's head, above which are his lordship's arms (Sable, 
crusuly argent, three talbot's heads erased of the last langued gules), empaled with the 
arms of his see ; near the top is a group of cherubs' heads, well executed, and over 
this is an urn, from which issues a golden flame. From the ceiling is suspended the 
pastoral staff, as appertaining to a shc])herd over Christ's flock ; and also the double- 
pointed mitre, which was probably introduced as an episcopal ornament about the 

H 



6o DROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

9th or loth century. This monument was originally fixed to the opposite wall, 
and had over it an oak canoi)y. Dr. Hall, by his will, bearing date March 19th, 
1708, directed that the sum of ^800 should be laid out in the purchase of an 
estate, and ;£'2o of the annual profits arising therefrom be expended in the 
distribution of clothes, between November ist and I'ebruary 2nd, to the poor 
men and women in the parisli of Bromsgrove, who had not recei^•ed parochial relief; 
the recipients not to be the same persons for two consecutive years. The value of 
the clothing to each man was not to exceed 13s. ; to each woman, 7s. ; unless 
otherwise directed by the executor, Mr. John Spilsbury,* of Chadwick, who, in 
conformity with the will, purchased, March nth, 181 1, a farm called Urloxhey, 
at Elmbridge, in the parish of Dodderhill, and raised the value of the clothing 
to 1 8s. and 12s. respectively. The trustees of inheritance were directed by the 
bishop's will to meet annually on September 23rd, and upon the death of one-third 
of their number to appoint others to fill up the vacancies thus occasioned. The will 
also directed that the residue of the profits, after the expenditure of ^20 in clothing, 
was to be laid out by separate trustees in the distribution of Bibles yearly in 
the parishes of Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, AVorcester, Stourbridge, Bewdley, and 
Droitwich ; the trustees of distribution, 10 in number, were to meet at Kidderminster 
annually, on August 12th, and when reduced by death to three, were to elect others 
within three months. The administration of this charity was the subject of a 
long discussion at the Charity Commissioners' enquiry in the Town Hall on 
July 2nd, 1879. 

Dr. Nash says, there was in the church, some years ago, a stone to the memory of 
"Johannes Hall, A.M., hujus ecclesiae vicarius, ob. Aug. 19, 1652, Anna uxor ejus 
ob. Jan. I, 1658," the father of Dr. John Hall. Among the archives of the Dean and 
Chapter of Worcester is a letter from Charles L, dated February ist, 1643, directing 
them to turn out J. Hall, Vicar of Bromsgrove, a rebel, and to admit Anthony 
Fawkner, to supply his place. Mrs. Phoebe Hall died August 4th, 171 7, aged 82. 

* John Spilsbury, M.A., was, during the Protectorate, the incumbent of this church. After the 
Pi-otector's death, and his son's abdication, and at the passing of the Act of Uniformity, he was. 
ejected from his "living," but continued to labour privately in the town as long as he lived. In the 
sessions rolls we find that in 1654, Edward Sheldon and Nicholas Hill deposed "that upon the 20th 
day of August the deponents were objecting against one Mr. Spilsbury, who desired to be minister of 
Bromsgrove, that he had a low voyce ; one Humphrey Potter then answered that if he had a low voice 
he had a true voice ; unto which Mr. Joseph Amige, now minister of Bromsgrove (as these deponents 
conceiveth), answered and said, ' Soe have I ; ' unto whom the said Potter replied, ' Noe, for you 
have tould lies in the pulpit,' or words to that effect." Mr. Spilsbury died June loth, 1669, aged 
71 years. He was exceedingly valued by Dr. Hall, whose sister and heiress he married. The bishop 
ordinarily visited him once a year, and continued some weeks at his house, and when he died made 
his only child his heir, viz., John Spilsbury, who was for several years pastor of a congregation of 
Dissenters at Kidderminster, and the father of the worthy Francis Spilsbury, minister of Salters 
Hall. It is stated that Dr. Hall resided for some time at the " Little Broomhouse." 



Plated. 




ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 6l 

At the east end of the north aisle is an alabaster monument to Sir Humphrey 
Stafford, of Grafton, son and heir of Sir Humphrey Stafford, of Grafton, knight, by 
Ehzabeth his wife, daughter and heiress of Sir John Burdet, knight, displaying a full 
length recumbent figure of a knight, arrayed in the superb armour of the period ; 

Cased from head to foot in panoply of steel. 
His head is covered with a conical basinet or helmet, encircled by a rich jewelled 
wreath, called an orle, which was introduced during the reign of Henry W. for 
the purpose of contracting the heavy pressure of the jousting helme, worn over it at 
tournaments. (Plate IV., figure i.) The basinet is attached to a gorget (a piece of 
armour worn round the neck, the origin of that which officers now wear when 
on duty), the fastening being covered by an ornamental border (Plate IV., fig. 2), 
which is succeeded by the breast plate and back piece ; the shoulders are covered 
with jiauldrons, and the arms and hands protected by brassarts, elbow pieces, 
vambraces, and cuffed gauntlets, all likewise of plate. Round his neck is suspended 
the collar of SS. (Plate IV., figure 3), a cognizance introduced by Henry IV., being 
the initial letter of his favourite motto "Soveragne." Beneath the head is a jousting 
helme, the crest of which is a boar's head (Plate IV., figure 4), couped upon a 
wreath mantling and doubling.* The thighs, legs, and feet are incased in cuisses, 
genoiulleres, jambs, and soUerets pointed at the toes ; rouelle spurs were originally 
fastened to the heels, but the straps alone of these remain. The bawdrick or girdle, 
horizontally disposed about the loins, formerly bore the arms of Stafford, within 
a border engrailed, and an anclace or dagger on the right side : this is now missing, 
as also the sword, which was suspended on the left side from a belt buckled in front, 
and crossing the body diagonally, a fashion which had fallen into disuse on the 
introduction of the bawdrick, in the reign of Edward III., but was, during the 15th 
century, again revived. At the feet reclines a greyhound. 

Outstretch'd together are express'd 

He and my lady fair : 
With hands uplifted on the breast 

In attitude of prayer ; 
Long visaged, clad in armour, he, 
With ruffled arm and bodice, she. 

By the side of Sir Humphrey reposes the efihgy of his wife Eleanor, represented 

in the fashionable dress of her time, viz., a surcote or low bodied gown, fitting close 

to the shape, with light drawn sleeves; over this a mantle, open in front, and 

fastened across the breast by a cordon hanging down. The hair is gathered into a 

network of an orbicular shape, divided in the middle, milrc-like. (Plate IV., fig. 5.) 

* When a knight was equipped for the tournament, he wore a wreath upon his helmet, which 
was generally composed of two skeins of silk, of different colours, twisted together, and answering 
to the principal colours of the device of his shield. 



62 BROMSGROVK CHURCH : 

Round Iicr neck is a double chain. (Plate IV., figure 6.)* Her head is supported by 
two angels, and a dog and grififin crouch at her feet. 'J'he sides of the tomb are 
divided into square recessed compartments (Plate VI., fig. i), containing quatrefoils, 
in the middle of which are small shields ; to these were affixed armorial bearings, but 
none of them are now discernablc. According to Nash they bore the following : — 
Or a chevron Gules and canton ermine ; Stafford ; quartering Azure, a chief Gules, 
over all a lion rampant Argent ; Hastang : and empaling Azure a cross Argent ; 
Aylesbury. The tomb also bore the arms of Palgrave and Burdet. Stafford was 
heir of Palgrave, and Palgrave heir of Burdet. The inscriptions are worn away. 
Eight of the compartments originally completing the sides of this tomb now form 
the front and end of a long seat or sedilia on the south side of the sanctuary. 

In the iSth year of the reign of Edward IV., Eleanor, the widow of Humphrey 
Stafford, founded in the church a chantry of one chaplain, who was daily to say 
mass at the aUar of our lady for the good estate of the king and queen, herself, 
Sir Humphrey her husband, and Humphrey, lliomas, Elizabeth, Anne, and Joyce, 
their children. For the support of the chaplain, she granted to Thomas Lytelton, 
Justice of the Common Pleas, John Catesby, serjeant-at-law, and others, an annual 
rent of lo marks, issuing out of her manor of Dodford, in Northamptonshire, with 
intent that they should pay the same to the chaplain of the said chantry by two 
equal portions, at Lady-day and Michaelmas. She presented the chaplain, and 
the Bishop of Worcester gave him insthution, and after her death the lords of 
Dodford presented. Thomas Harding, the first chaplain, was succeeded by Thomas 
Lancastre, in 1504. Roger Chant (151 1) and Thomas Blackweye (1512) also held 
the office. The deed of the foundation is worded as follows : — 

" To all trewe christen men to whom this present writyng indentyd shall come, 
Alianore Stafford, wydowe, sometyme wyff of Humfrey Stafforde of Grafton, yn the 
county of ^^'orcestre knyght, sendys gretyng yn our Lord everlastyng. Know ye me 
the seide Alianore yn my pure wydowhode and lawful power, unto the lovyng and 
worshepyng of allmyghty God, and of his blessed moder our lady Sainte Mary, and 
all the saintes of heven, to the augmentation of dyvyne service, and to the helthe, 
refreshing, and relievyng of the soule of the said Humfrey late myne husbande, and 
of myne, and of all cristen soulys, by the licence and auctorite of the most cristen 
prince, Edwarde, by the grace of God, kyng of England, and of France, and lord of 
Ireland ; and also of the assante of all other having interest in this partye ; to 
have made, founded, and stablyshed, and by these presentes make, found, and 

* Mr. Fairholt observes that the earliest ornament for the neck perceived upon the sepulchral 
effigies and brasses of the middle ages " is a simple double chain of gold, like that worn by the wife 
of Sir flumphrey Stafford (1450) in Bromsgrove Church, Worcestershire, engraved by Mollis. " 



Plate. IV 




ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 63 

stablyshe, a chauntrye perpetual of one chapellayn perpetually to doe dyvyne service 
in the parryshe churche of Bromesgrove, in the seide countye of Worcestor, and atte 
the auter of our lady in the same church dailye to sey masse for the good estate 
of the seide most cristen prince, and the queen, and of me the seide Alianore, 
with Humfrey, Thomas, Elizabeth, Anne, and Joyeux, children of the seide Humfrey 
late my husband and me, during our lives ; and for our soules when we be decessed ; 
and for the soule of the said Humfrey Stafford, and for all christen soules. And 
to the saide chauntrye, by vertu of the lycence above seyde, to have named and 
presented Thomas Hardyng cappellayne ; and to hym, as much as in me is, have 
graunted and assigned, to have and to hold, to hym, and to his successours 
cappellayns doyng dyvyne service in the same chauntrye, in the manner and forme 
hereafter written. And I will that the seyde Thomas Hardyng and his successours 
in the same chauntry, shall be named and called chappellaynes of the seide Humfrey, 
knyght ; the which chapellaynes, and everych of them, shall dewly kepe and observe, 
as moche as thym belongith, my wyll and ordinaunces in the articles here following 
expressed and declared. Fyrst, I woll and ordeyne by these presentes, that the 
successours of the seyde Thomas Hardyng, chappellaynes of the seyde chauntrye, 
and everyche of them from the date of these presentes to be admittyd, shall be 
presentyd by me whyles that I lyve, and after my decesse by the lordys of Dodforde 
for the tyme beying, unto the bishop of Worcestre, or to his vycar for the tyme 
beying, within a moneth after the decesse of everyche of the said chappellaynes, and 
by the same bishop or his said vicare, yn the same chauntrie to be ynstituted, 
as a chappellaine perpetuall oweth to be, in kepyng of the said chauntrie. And 
yf hit happen that I the saide Alianore in my lyf, and the lordes of Dodford 
aforesaide after my decesse, present nat a convenient and able prest to the 
said chauntrie, within the tyme of a moneth after the decesse of any of the 
said chapellayns ; than I woll that the said bishop of 'Worcestre for the tyme 
beying, or the priour of Worcestre, the see beying voyde, present unto the saide 
chauntrie an able prest, to be instituted in the fourme aforesaide ; the ryght 
and pryvilage of presentation of the said chauntrye to me, and to the lordes of 
Dodforde for tyme beying, allwey saufe and reservd ; when hit shall happen the seide 
chauntrie then next to be voide in manner and fourme aforesaide. Also I wyll 
and ordeyne that the saide Thomas Hardyng chapellaine and his successours 
chapellaynes in the said chauntrie, and everyche of th}-m, shall dailye and continually 
be resident in propyr person entending upon the same chauntrie ; and daylye 
say masse, and other dyvyne service, after the use and constitution of the chirche, as 
the tyme requires, devotly, as God woll graunte theym grace withcouten fraud or 
negligence. And that every chapellain of the sayde chauntrye, for the tyme beying 
every Sonday and other festivall dayes, yn liis surplice att his own charge pourved, 



64 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

shall entend the quere of the said parrishc church of Bromesgrove at the first 
evensong, matyns, masse, and other canonical houres, with the vicare of the 
parryshe : and other ministring divyne service thear. Also I will, that every 
chapellain of the said chauntrye in their masses, and other orysons and devocyonnys, 
specially pray for me, and all my children, whiles we be alive, and for the soul of the 
seyde Humfrey, late my husband, and for my soule after my decesse ; and for the 
souls of all my children ; and for the soules of all the benefactours of the sayde 
chauntrie, and for all cristen soules : and also there shall yerely kepe the obytte 
of the said Humphrey late my housebond, with also myne conjunctly when I shall be 
decessed, with placebo, and dirage, and masse of requiem be note, after the 
devote usage of holy chirche. Also the said Thomas Hardyng chapellain, and 
his successours chappellains in the saide chauntrie, successively, all and every th)'ng 
to the same chauntrie in any wise belonging or perteyneth, as bokes, chalices, 
vestments and other ornaments whatsomever, beyng nowe, or what hereafter shall be 
purveyde for the behove of the same chauntrie at ther proper costys, expenses, and 
charges shall kepe, conserve and susteyne. And yf it be happen any of thym to be 
empeired, hurt, lost, or wasted everych of them for his tyme, shall provyde for 
the renewyng and repairynge of theym well and competentlye, and theym sufficiently 
repared and made shall leve unto his successours withouten diminucyon of theym or 
every parcelle of theym. And the said Thomas Hardyng, and everyche of his 
successours, chapellains, in the said chauntrye, at their incommyng and institution 
yn the same chauntry, shall make a clere and a true inventory by wrytyng endented 
of all maner thyng found by him, or theym, or any of them, receyvd, perteygning, or 
belongyng unto the seid chauntrie for the tyme beinge with the sealys of eithir 
of them sealyd. Also that the seide Thomas Hardynge, nor his successours, 
chapellains to the said chauntrye, nor any of theym, yn no maner wise attempte to 
do eny thyng that may be prejudiciable to the seyde churche of Bromesgrove, or the 
parson or vicare of the same chirche pryveley or openly, but every of them shall 
dewely entend the monysshyng and advertisements of the said vicare, and hym obey 
in all thinges lawfull and honeste for a chauntry prest to doe concerning divine 
service, at such time as they aught to entend hit. And ther, nor noon of theym, 
shall not meddle nor entermete theym with the cure or governaunce of the said 
churche, nor of the parishe ; bot yf hit be at the special request of the seyde vicare, 
or his depute for the tyme beying. And then yf ther goodely may and woU for their 
one meryte and charitable example of other, they may help to supporte their charges 
with their good will, and by noon other dewty, or constrainte otherwise then above 
is expressed. Also the seide Thomas Hardyng, nor noon of his successours, 
chappellians aforesaide, shall not be absente from the seide chauntre past 15 daies, 
continuelly, or in the yere past 40 dayes by severall dayes ; and that with cause 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 65 

reasonable. Also yf the seyde Thomas Harclyng or any of his successours 
chapellains in the seide chauntrie, thorough age, infirmyte, or other cause, resonable, 
withouten fraude, fallen thorough Goddys visitacion, where-thorough he ys not of 
power, and may not doe dyvyne service, and acomplyshe the observaunce of the 
saide chauutrye, as is aforesaide, he shall not therefore be put removed from his 
saide chauntrye, bot there to contynue his lyf, during assiduell prayour for the 
founders and other abovesaide, dulye keping and observyng other articles, of this 
present ordinaunce after his possibilyte. Also yf the saide Thomas Hardyng, or eny 
of his successours chapellains in the same chauntrye, be evydentley noted of unclene 
and vicious lyvyng, and dishoneste conversacyon and demeanyng, or yf he be 
suspended or irreguher, or use eny thing to clerkes by the lawe inhibyte, and he 
be thereof convicte, whereby he is not nor may not be of power nor of abilite 
to observe the premisses ; or yf he doe eny thing in prejudice of this present 
fundacyon, or make waste or destruction of bokes, chalyces, vestiments, or of 
any other ornaments, or of eny londes or tenementes yn eny wise belong)'nge 
or perteigne, or hereafter shall belonge or perteigne unto the said chauntrye ; 
then he, as unable, hys offence so declaring him, shall be remoeved and deprived 
by the same ; and another chapellain of good and vertuous disposicion, and 
conversation, to be admitted and instituted in the said chauntrye in the fourme 
abovesaid. And as for the fyndyng and sustenation of the saide chapellain 
perpetuall doyng dyvyne servyce in the said chauntrye as is aforesaid, I have 
graunted to Thomas Lytelton oon of the kynges justices of the common place, 
John Catesby, oon of the kynges justices att the lawe, Richard Jourdan late 
vicar of Stoke, now vycar of Hull, John Bowdok and Richard Harpecote of 
Bromesgrovc aforesaid, and other nowe decessyd, an annuel rent of ten mark, 
to be had and perceyvid in, and of my mannour of Dodford in the counte of 
Northampton, and in and of all other my landes and tenements in the toun and 
feldes of Dodford aforesaide, at the festes of the annunciacion of our Lady and Sainte 
Mychell the archangell, by even porcions ; with a clause of distresse, to thentent 
that the same Thomas Lytelton, John Catesby, Richard Jourdane, John Bowdok, 
and Richard Harpecote, and their heyres, when the chauntrye were stablished and 
founded, and the kynges licence thereupon inpetred and obteyned the seyde annuel 
rent of ten marks shuld gyve, graunte, and conferme, to the chapellain of the said 
chauntrye, and his successours, chapellains, in the same, after the tenor and effect of 
the fundacion thereuppon made, as by my dede and wrytyng thereof made unto 
theym more plenely is expressyd and declared. Wherefore ; accordyng to thentent 
of my saide graunt touching the chauntrye aforesaid by me creatyd, founded, and 
establysshed, by the auctorite and lycence above specified, for a comfirmation of the 
same, with a perfyte and entier fundacion ; as well for the forsaide chauntrie as 



66 liROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

for the fyndyng and sustentacyon of the saidc perpetuell prest ; at the instance 
of my prayer and request, the said Thomas Lytelton, John Catesby, Richard 
Jourdan, John Bowdock, and Richard Harpecote, by their dede theruppon to 
be made and sealyd, have promyssed to geve and graunte to the said Thomas 
Harding nowe chapellain of the said chauntrye, and to his successours chapellains 
in the same doyng dyvyng service, as is abovesaid, the foresaide annuell rent of ten 
marks perpetually, to be had and perceyved in the maner and form hereafter 
followying : — 

"To all faithful servants of Christ, to whom this present indenture cometh, Thomas Litelton, Justice 
of the Common Pleas, John Catesby, King's Serjeant-at-law, Richard Jordan, formerly vicar of 
Stoke, now vicar of Doderhill, in the county of Worcester, John Bowdock, and Richard 
Harpecote, of Bromsgrove, in the aforesaid county of Worcester, greeting in the name of 
the Lord, 

"Whereas Eleanor Stafford, widow, formerly wife of Humphrey Stafford; of Grafton, in 
Worcestershire ; soldier, deceased, by her writing triparted and indented, dated the fifteenth day of 
March in the thirteenth year of the reign of Edward the fourth (post Conquestum), hath granted to 
us the aforesaid, 'Thomas,' 'John,' 'Richard,' 'John,' and 'Richard,' and to others now 
deceased for herself and her heirs a certain rent of six pounds thirteen shillings, and four pence, the 
aforesaid annual rent to be had and received yearly by us, and by our heirs and assignees, from and 
in her manor of Dodford in the county of Northampton, also in and from all other lands and 
tenements in the Town and fields of Dodford aforesaid in the county aforesaid, on the feast of All 
Angels and of St. Michal the Archangel, in equal portions, with a clause of distress, according as 
contained in the same deed. With this intent that when a chantry of one chaplain, shall have been 
erected and stablished in the Church of the Parish of Bromsgrove aforesaid in the said county 
of Worcester by the abovementioned Eleanor, that we the said 'Thomas,' 'John,' 'Richard,' 
'John,' and 'Richard,' should grant the said annual rent to the aforesaid Chaplain and to 
his successors, chaplains of the aforesaid Chantry, having and receiving the said annual rents for the 
aforesaid Chaplain and for his successors, chaplains of the aforesaid Chantry as is fully set forth and 
declared in the aforesaid deed. And whereas the aforesaid Eleanor having lately obtained, with that 
of others, the licence and authority of the King for herself or for any other person or persons 
holding her authority, or that of any other person or persons acting in this matter to make found 
stablish create, and erect in the aforesaid Church of Bromsgrove, a perpetual chantry, consisting of 
one perpetual chaplain, and the said chaplain and any successor of the said chaplain to be called 
the Chaplain of Humphry Stafford formerly of Grafton, according as it is clearly set forth in 
the said letters patent ; and the same Eleanor has made, founded, erected, created, and stablished 
the said Chantry, by virtue of the abovementioned licence, and has named and presented Thomas 
Harding, Chaplain according to the manner and form of the foundation of the said Chantry as is 
plainly set forth in the foundation aforesaid. Be it known therefore that we the aforesaid, Thomas 
Littleton, John Catesby, Richard Jordan, John Bowdock, and Richard Harpecote withe the will and 
pious intention of the said Eleanor, and by virtue of the letters patent of his Majesty the King, and 
of others interested in this matter, have given and granted to the said Thomas Harding, Chaplain of 
the aforesaid Chantry ; viz. of Humphrey Stafford formerly of Grafton, Soldier ; an annual rent of 
six pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence to be had and held by him and his successors, Chaplains 
of the aforementioned Humphrey Stafford, Soldier, holding service in the holy Chantry aforesaid. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 67 

according to the foundation executed by the said Eleanor. And if the said annual rent of six 
pounds thirteen shillings, and four pence, be behind, in part or in whole not paid, beyond the term 
in which it should be paid, then it shall be lawful for the aforesaid Thomas Harding, Chaplain, and 
for his successors Chaplains of the aforesaid Chantry, or their assignees, or any one of them, to 
enter into the lands and tenements aforesaid, or any allotlment, and to distrain, and it shall be lawful 
for them to carry away drive and lead and retain in their power those things taken in distress, to 
take full satisfaction and payment of the rent aforesaid, together with arrears of the same, and 
expenses of distraint occasioned and sustained. 

" In witness of the above writing, we place our seal to one part of this our indenture to remain 
in the possession of the aforesaid Thomas Harding and of his successors, Chaplains of the aforesaid 
Chantry. And the said Thomas Harding having affixed his seal to the other part, it remaincth in 
the possession of the aforesaid Eleanor and of the gentlemen of Dodford abovementioned. 

"Dated this 20 day of April in the iSlh year of the Reign of Edward the fourth (post 
Conquestum.")* 

"And that this my present foundacion ordinance, and endewmente, as well 
touching the chauntrye aforesaide, as for the sustentacyon of the said Thomas, 
chapeleyne, and his successours chapeleynes, doyng divyne service in the same 
chauntrie, as is aforesaide, shuld hereafter be the more fermely kept and conserved, 
and obteyne it entier and continuell strength, I have made dowble this same by 
parties endented ; of the which I woU that on oon partey remaine in the keping of 
the reverend father in God the Abbot of Evesham, and his successours, and the 
other party to remaine in the keeping of the said Thomas Hardyng, chapeleyne, and 
his successours chapeleyns in the forsaid chauntrie, perpetually. And moreover, for 
a perpetuall remembraunce and plenar confirmacyon thereof, I woU that these 
presentes be in the registres of the reverend father in God, John by the grace 
of God, bishop of Worcester, diocesane of the place, and of the venerable 
parsonnes of the chapitre thear, clearly written and rcgistred. Exhorting further- 
more and chargyng on Godds behalve, and our lady Sainte Marie, with all the Saints 
of hevyn, ; and upon my blessyng, and under the drcdful sentence of Goddes 
judgement in the last dale of venjaunce, that noon of my heires, childeren, kyn, or 
allye, nor any other, this ray present foundacion, v\-ill, and ordinaunce, made in 
forme abovewritten, thei nor noon of theymc, yn no maner wise lett, distourbe, 
or impugne, or in any article hereof interupte, dissolve, or adnuUe. In wytncss of 
all and sundry things abovesaid, I the foresaid Alianore to the partyes hereof have 
put my seal. 

" Gyven the first day of Aprill in the yer of our Lord 1478, and of the reigne of 
kyng Edwarde IV. after the Conquest the 18^11."—^^ 7?^//. 

* Translated from the Latin. "Post Conquestum" signifies "after the Concjuest,"' to show 
date, as it was not common to place the j'ear on a deed. 



68 



BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 



In the Augmentation Office, in certain " Certificates of Colleges and Chauntries, 
&c., 6i, No. lo. Temp. Hen. 8. and Edw. 6." mention is made of "The Parishe 
of Bromsgrove wherein be of houselyng people the number of M. (looo)" 
" There is one Chaunytre called Stafford's Chauntery w*in the said parishe." And, 
under the head of " The namys of the Governors Maisters and Incumbentis," 
we find, " Thomas Jamys Chauntery prist there hath yerely paid out of the man'' of 
Sorford in y^ Countie of Northampton in y' nature of a Rent Charge vj" xiij^ iiij'* 
unde pro ^'"''* dno Regi xiij^ iiij''" 

That part of the church assigned as the chantry is supposed by Dr. Nash to 
be the present vestry. 

Judging from the size and length of the figure (6ft. pin. from the helmet to 
the toes), Sir Humphrey must have been a fine, well-built, stalwart man. Connected 
with this monument are some marvellous traditions. A legend, still preserved in this 
neighbourhood, and carrying us back to the time when Bromsgrove formed part 
of the great Forest of Feckenham, says, that Sir Humphrey Stafford killed a 
wonderful wild boar that lived in an enchanted castle, and destroyed all that passed 
that way ; that he released the lady whose effigy lies beside him from enchantment 
and the power of the boar ; and that he, as an act of piety, built the church in 
which he lies, and an abbey near it. 

The late Mr. Jabcz Allies was at much pains to produce the ballad of "The 
Jovial Hunter," also connected with this monument. There appears to have been 
several versions of this ballad, two of which are here given : — 



Sir Robert Bolton had three sons — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 

And one of them was called Sir Ryalas, 
For he*was a jovial hunter. 

' He rang'd all round, down by the wood side — 

Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Till up in the top of a tree a gay lady he spy'd, 
For he was a jovial hunter. 

' Oh ! what dost thou mean, fair lady, said he — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Oh ! the wild boar has killed my Lord and his 

men thirty, 
As thou be'st a jovial hunter. 

' Oh ! what shall I do, this wild boar to see- 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Oh ! thee blow a blast, and he'll come unto thee, 
As thou be'st a jovial hunter. 



"Then he blow'd a blast full north, east, west, 
and south, 
For he was a jovial hunter ; 
And the wild boar heard him full into his den, 
As he was a jovial hunter. 

" Then he made the best of his speed into him, 
W^ind went his horn, as a hunter ; 
And he whetted his tusks as he came along 
To Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter. 

' ' Then the wild boar, being so stout and so strong — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
He thrashed down the trees as he came along, 
To Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter. 

"Oh ! what dost thou want of me, the wild boar, 
said he — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Oh ! I think in my heart I can do enough for thee. 
For I am a jovial hunter. 



Decumis Domino. 



ITS HISTORY ANt) ANTigUlflBS, 



6y 



"Then they fought four hours in a long summer's 
day — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Till the wild boar fain would have gotten away 
From Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter. 

"Then Sir Ryalas draw'd his broad sword with 
might — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
And he fairly cut his head off quite, 
For he was a jovial hunter. 

"Then out of the wood the wild woman flew — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
Oh ! thou hast killed my pretty spotted pig ; 
As thou be'st a jovial hunter. 

"There are three things I do demand of thee — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 
It 's thy horn, and thy hound, and thy gay lady, 
As thou be'st a jovial hunter. 



' If these three things thou dost demand of me — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 

It's just as my sword and thy neck can agree, 
For I am a jovial hunter. 



'Then into his locks the wild woman flew — • 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 

Till she thought in her heart she had torn him 
through, 
As he was a jovial hunter. 

'Then Sir Ryalas draw'd his broad sv.^ord again — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 

And he fairly split her head in twain, 
For he was a jovial hunter. 



'In Bromsgrove Church they both do lie — 
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; 

There the wild boar's head is picturVl by 
Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter." 



Another version of the ballad is — 

"As I went up one brook, one brook — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
I saw a fair maiden sit on a tree top, 
As thou art the jovial hunter. 

"I said, fair maiden, what brings you here ? — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
It is the wild boar that has drove me here. 
As thou art the jovial hunter. 

"I wish I could that wild boar see — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
And the wild boar soon will come to thee, 
As thou art the jovial hunter. 

"Then he put his horn into his mouth — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
And he blow'd both east, west, north, and south, 
As he was a jovial hunter. 

"The wild boar hearing it unto his den — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
He whetted his tusks, for to make them strong, 
And he cut down the oak and the ash as he came 
along, 
For to meet the jovial hunter. 



"They fought five hours one long summer's day — ■ 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
Till the wild boar he yell'd, and he'd fain run away, 
And away from the jovial hunter. 

"Oh ! then he cut his head clean off ! — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
Then there came an old lady running out of the 

wood. 
Saying, you have killed my pretty, my pretty 
spotted pig, 
As thou art the jovial hunter. 

"Then at him, this old lady, she did go — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
And he clove her from the top of her head to 
her toe. 
As he was the jovial hunter. 

"In Bromsgrove Churchyard this old lady lies — 
Well wind the horn, good hunter ; 
And the face of the boar's head there is drawn by, 
That was killed by the jovial hunter." 



76 



BKOMSGkOVE CHURCH 




It is supposed by many that Bromsgrove was formerly known as Boarsgrove, but 
this appears to be but fiction, concocted to fit in with 
the fable with which Humphrey Stafford is so closely 
connected, for the town was called Bremesgrefa in Anglo- 
Saxon charters, and Bremesgrave in Domesday Book. 
The crest of the Staffords is a boar's head, and tlie device 
adopted by the town authorities being a wild boar, has 
probably strengthened the popular idea that the town 
was once called Boarsgrove. 

The Staffords of Grafton were a branch of the baronial house of Stafford, 
which acquired the manor of Grafton in the reign of Edward III., in right 
of the marriage of Sir Ralph Stafford with Maud, eldest daughter and co-heiress 
of Sir John de Hastang. Sir Ralph was succeeded by his son. Sir Humphrey, 
who married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir John Burdett, by whom he 
had issue Sir Humphrey Stafford, of Grafton, who, with his brother William, 
were slain whilst fighting against Jack Cade and the Commons of Kent, in the 
28th of Henry VI. (see Shakespere's Henry VI.), and being buried here, form 
the subject of this notice. In Hook's " Lives of the Archbishops," we find 
Humphrey Stafford's death referred to as follows: "As the archbishop (John 
Stafford) and his noble kinsman (the Duke of Buckingham) drew near the camp 
(of Blackheath) they saw the effects of the late battle in the bodies of many of their 
friends and kinsmen who had fallen in the fight, and who had been stripped of their 
armour. All the precautions and discipline, at that time prevalent in armies, were 
strictly observed ; and with much military j)omp they were ushered into the presence 
of the captain. There a sight awaited them which they might well have been 
spared : a sight which at once declared the fate of Sir Humphrey Stafford, who, with 
his brother William, had not, as they had hoped, been made prisoners of war, but 
had died in battle. The captain stood before them, arrayed in the splendid armour 
of their kinsman. There was no mistaking the armour, of which Sir Humphrey had 
been so proud, 'his brigandine set vdth gilt nails, his salet and his spurs.' There 
was nothing to complain of, for these v/ere the spoils of war ; but still the sight was a 
sad one." He had issue, by Eleanor, his wife, daughter and co-heiress of Sir 
Thomas Aylesbury, of Milton Keynes (by Katherine, his wife, daughter and co-heiress 
of Sir Laurence Pabenham), a son. Sir Hum.phrey, of Grafton, v/ho fought under the 
banners of Richard III., at Bosworth, and after the defeat of his party fled for 
security to Colchester, in Essex. Not discouraged, however, by his former ill-fortune, 
he undertook, with the help of his brother Thomas, to raise some men for the 
assistance of Lord Lovel When this nobleman abandoned his project, the Staffords 
took refuge at Colnham, in Berkshire. The Judges of King's Bench did not long 



Plate V. 




ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 7 1 

permit this place to extend its protection to traitors, for Humphrey was attainted 
by Act of Parhament, in November, 1485, and executed at Tyburn ; but Thomas 
was pardoned. A tradition prevailed that he was drawn upon a hurdle from the 
Foregate, or Northgate, of Worcester to the Cross, and there put to death. It 
is, however, believed that Tyburn was the scene of his execution. This last Sir 
Humphrey married Katherine, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Fray, knight, and 
had issue. Sir Humphrey, who removed to Blatherwick, in Northamptonshire, where 
his descendants continued until the line ended in two co-heiresscs, Susannah and 
Anne, sisters of William Stafford; the former married, in 1699, to Henry O'Brien, 
and the latter, in 1703, to George Evans (Lord Carberry). 

Adjoining the monument of Sir Humphrey Stafford, is one to the memory of 
Sir John Talbot, of Grafton, knight, son* of Sir Gilbert, with his figure all armed 
except the head, under which is a helmet and wreatli ; about the neck a collar 
of SS., with a cross patee dependent (now broken off), and at his feet a Talbot. On 
his right hand is the effigy of his first wife, Margaret, and on the left that of his 
second wife, Ehzabeth. Mr. Fairholt, in his "Costume in England," writes : "They 
are exceedingly interesting examples of a style of costume that completely 
disappeared in the ensuing reign, after retaining its ascendancy for more than half a 
century. The diamond shaped head dress (Plate VH., fig. i) worn by the first lady 
may be considered as the latest form of that peculiar fashion ; the hair beneath 
is secured by bands or ribbons ; the gown is low in the neck, displaying the partlet, 
with its embroidered border, and the gold chains so fashionable with the upper 
classes at this time ; it is secured at the waist by a loosely-fitting girdle, and is held 
up in front by jewelled bands passing round the loins, displaying the petticoat 
beneath ; the sleeves are wide, shewing the pleated and puffed under ones, with the 
ruffle encircling the wrist. A crimson mantle envelopes the back part of the figure, 
faUing over the shoulders and hanging to the feet ; and the entire dress is interesting 
for its display of the modification and variation adopted since its introduction 
to fashionable society. The companion-figure wears her hair parted in front from 
the centre in the simplest manner, and she has a close fitting cap of dark cloth 
or velvet, encircled with a border of gold lace and rows of gilt beads (Plate VH., 
figure 2) ; it takes the shape of the head, and was frequently worn with a point 
descending to the centre of the forehead. A long gown with a turn over collar, 
envelopes the entire figure ; it is open in front down the entire length, being secured 
by ties at regular intervals, and having no girdle at the waist ; small puffs arc on the 
shoulders, from whence descend long hanging sleeves, ornamented by diagonal 

* Grazebrooke says he was half-brother ; but Nash, who gives a pedigree of the family, states 
that he was a son of Sir Gilbert. 



71 BROMSGROVE CHURCH ! 

stripes, reaching to the knee, through which the arm was never placed. Ruffles 
decorate the wrist; but the entire dress is exceedingly, not to say unbecomingly, 
plain." 

On several parts of the monument are quartered arms ; and round the tomb this 
inscription : — 

<*||ix: lumt cox^s:jxu ^ol^mxxm ^ixlhst militis, tt Ismmxu '^ntcjuniu ^nmu 
moxh, utqw^ ir0i\uniii; ^lisab^t'^a^ moxh smxxihixt, &Yxu Mixlitxi Mxocbth'x arm, 
xpii ^uibxm ^olmxixta 0ljiit ir^nm0 Vxt ^t^U ixxxxxa tsoxxx, mcxxixl, ([xxaxxxxxx animir&iis 
^xo^k'xttm g^iis, ^mm/' 

Or, in English — Here lie the bodies of John Talbot, soldier, and of Margaret his 
first wife, and of EUzabeth his second wife, the daughter of Walter Wrocheley, 
esquire. The above John died on the loth day of September, in the year of 
Our Lord 1550. May God have mercy upon their souls. Amen. 

Underneath this 7C'as another inscription, but the letters, which were in relief, 
have been cut away. This fact caused considerable comment during the Shrewsbury 
Estate trial, in 1859. The inscription, as given by Dr. Nash, was — 

** ^l}t lairir '^ixxQ'dxtt hxxt ia ¥xx\x t\^xtt s0HS \xxxh &bt hmcjl^Uxa ; uwir fht Ia!6^ 
6IiiaktlT hxxt t0 Mm fouv aoxx^ luttr fmx imucjlit^rs," 

The size of the tomb is 6ft. 6in. by 4ft. 8in., and at the sides are these 
arms: "Three piles, a canton Ermine. Wrottesley. Quarterly — i. Azure a lion 
rampant and bordure plain. Talbot al/as Bellissimo Earl of Shrewsbury. 2. Gules 
a lion rampant and bordure engrailed. Rhees ap Griffith alias Talbot modern. 
3. Bendy of ten. Talbot ancient. 4. Barry of ten Argent and Azure an orle of 
martletts Gules Valence. 5. Gules a Saltire with a martlet. Nevile. 6. A bend 
between six martlets. Furnival. 7. Or, a fret. Verdon. 8. Tavo lions passant. 
Strange of Blackmere. 9. A lion rampant. Lovetot. Quarterly — i. A fleur-de-lis 
between three Moore's heads. Troutbeck, alias I\Ioore, quartered by Troutbeck. 
2. Three piles. 3. Two chevrons, in a canton a cross patee fitche. 4. A lion 
passant." — Nash. 

In " Nash's Worcestershire," there is an engraving of this and Humphrey 
Stafford's monument, in which the sides of the tombs are represented as being alike, 
but this is an error. (Plate VI., figures i and 2.) 

These monuments originally stood in the centre of the chancel, and were 
removed to their present positions by order of Mr. "Waugh, a former vicar, about the 
year 1742. At this time the monument of Humphrey Stafford was shortened, in 
order to correspond with that of Sir John Talbot, and the effigies now overhang 
at either end. 



Plate VI 





o 




to ^. 
to 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 73 

On the wall, at the foot of these tombs, are two brasses, bearing the following 
inscriptions : — 

" Here lyeth the body of 
Dame Bridget Talbot, daugh 

TER TO Sir John Talbot 
the elder of Grafton and 

WIFE TO Sir John Talbot 

OF Castle King in Ireland 

WHO died 1619" 

(Size 2Sl4in. X 15111.) 

" Here lyeth the body of Dame Mar 
garete Lygon, daughter to the 
aforesaid Sir John Talbot and 

SISTER to this DAME BRIDGET 

Talbot that lieth here 

and SISTER to this Sir Arnould 

Lygon of Beauchamp's Court, 

died February 24, 1632 " 

(Size 25Kin. X i3in.) 

The lettering on the former is in relief, and on the latter it is incised. Both are 
very good specimens, for the date, and are in a fair state of preservation. Dr. Nash, 
writing in 1781, says, "Some few years since the chancel was repaired, and a 
handsome communion table, &c,, given by Mrs. Moore, relict of Edward Moore, 
of Barnt Green, in this parish, esqr. The monuments that were formerly in the 
chancel w^ere carelessly placed in different parts of the church. Some of those 
belonging to the Talbots were removed to the north side of the church."* At 
this time the above-mentioned brasses were preserved in the vestry, having been 
taken up from the floor of the chancel. They were afterwards placed in their 
present positions. 

• In "The Beauties of England and Wales," we find the following : — "The body of the church 
has three aisles ; the windows contain some very good painted glass ; there arc several handsome 
monuments of the Talbots, of Grafton, now the Earls of Shrewsbury, and one of Counsellor 
Lyttelton, of the Hagley family ; but we are sorry to observe, that during the repair of the chancel, 
some years ago, some very improper changes of the monuments and brasses took place. It were 
well, indeed, if an Act of Parliament were to take place to prevent the barbarous beautify iugs, which 
are so often executed by the orders of as barbarous churchwardens. Surely, even now, the bishops 
or archdeacons, in their visitations, might look into these matters, if the resident clergy will not." 



74 13R0MSGR0VE CHURCH : 

Formerly there was in the floor of the chancel, on the fifth stone from the vestry 
door, and at the foot of the communion steps, this inscription : — 

Sacred to the Memory of 

Catherine Talbot daughter of John 

and Lady Jane Clifton of Lytham Hall 

in the county of Lancaster, and wife of 

John Talbot, Esq^? Brother to Charles 

15'.'? Earl of Shrewsbury, she departed this life 

at Grafton the i4'.h of May A.D. 1791 

aged 23 years 

R. I. P. 

The vault underneath this stone was opened July 23rd, 1857, with the object 

of obtaining information on some points raised at the Shrewsbury trial. The 

inscription found on the coffin plate was : — 

THE HON^'e 
CATHE^ TALBOT 

Died May 14'^ 
1 791 Aged 24 
R. I. p. 
The stone was probably removed at the restoration of the church. 

The Talbots, Earls of Shrewsbury, are descended, in the female line, from the 
Kings of the Britons and Princes of Wales ; the Earl of Charlemagne ; the Norman 
line in England ; the Kings of the Scots and Picts ; the Saxon line of England ; the 
Plantagenet line, and several houses of Emperors. 

Referring to the Talbots of Grafton, Mr. Shirley says : " No family in England 
is more connected with the history of our country than this noble race ; few are 
more highly allied. The Marches of Wales appear to be the original seat ; after- 
wards we find the Talbots in Shropshire, in Staffordshire (where their estates were 
inherited from the Verdons, in the time of the Edwards), and lastly in Yorkshire, at 
Sheffield, derived from the great heiress of Neville Lord Furnival." The first of 
this great historical family who possessed the Manor of Grafton was Sir Gilbert 
Talbot, K.G.,* second surviving son of John, second Earl of Shrewsbury, who 
obtained, in recognition of his great services, a grant from King Henry VH. of the 
Manors of Grafton and Upton Warren, and several other estates in Hanbury, 
Bromsgrove, King's Norton, and elsewhere, which had been forfeited to the Crown 
on the attainder of Sir Humphrey Stafford. "Sir Gilbert died in the year 15 17, 

* Sir Gilbert Talbot was Sheriff of Shropshire at the time of Richmond's invasion, and guardian 
of his young nephew, the Earl of Shrewsbury, at the head of whose retainers, amounting to 2000 
men, he joined Richmond at Stafford. He had command of Richmond's right wing at Bosworth, 
and to him the heroic young Earl of Surrey delivered up his sword. He was badly wounded in the 
fight, but survived it, and was made a Privy Councillor and a Knight of the Bath by Henry VH. 



Plate VU. 




Margaret, wife of 
Sir John Talbot, 
OF Grafton. 
FIG.l. 





Elizabeth, second wiff of 
Sir John Talbot. 
OF Grafton . 

FIG. 2. 



Elizabeth, WIFE of Sir Gilbert Talbot 
OF Grafton. 

FIG, 3. 



ITS HISTORV AND ANTIQUITIES. 75 

having had issue by his llrst wife, Ehzabeth, daughter of Ralph, Baron of Greystoke, 
a son and successor, Sir Gill)ert Talbot, knight, who died in 1542, leaving, by Anne, 
his wife, daughter and co-heiress of Sir ^^'illianl Paston, three daughters, his 
co-heiresses, viz., Elizabetli, wife of John Lyttelton, of Frankley ; Mary, wife of 
Thomas Astley, of Patshul ; and Margaret, wife of Robert Newport, of Rushock. 
He also had issue, by Elizabeth Winter, widow, whom he appears to have afterwards 
married, several natural children. Sir Gilbert was succeeded by his half-brother. Sir 
John Talbot (whose monument we have just noticed), called ' of Albrighton,' who 
was twice married ; first, to Margaret, daughter and sole heiress of Adam Troutbeck, 
by whom he v,-as father of John Talbot, of Grafton ; and secondly, to Elizabeth, 
daughter of A\'alter AN'rottesley, of Wrottesley, county of Stafford, by whom he had 
issue, John Talbot, of Salwarpe. John Talbot, of Grafton, succeeded, and was 
grandfather of George Talbot, of Grafton, who succeeded his kinsman as 9th Earl 
of Shrewsbury, but, dying without issue, was succeeded by his nephew, John, as 
loth Earl, from whom the late Bertram Arthur, 17th Earl of Shrewsbury, was 
descended. On the death of the latter, in 1S56, unmarried, the earldom was 
claimed, and after a protracted enquiry (during which this monument was often 
referred to), adjudged, in 1858, to Earl Talbot, of Ingestre, who proved his 
descent from John Talbot, of Salwarpe, half-brother of John, of Grafton. This 
John, of Salwarpe, married Olive, third daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry 
Sherington, of Lacock, county Wilts, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Sherington Talbot, of Salwarpe, Lacock, and Rudge, the male descendants of 
whose eldest and other sons by his first wife eventually became extinct, and 
whose son by his second wife, WiUiam Talbot, of Whittington Hall, and Stourton 
Castle, in Staffordshire (near Stourbridge), was feather of William Talbot, D.D., 
Bishop of Durham, &c., whose son, Charles Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of 
England, was created Baron Talbot, of Hensol, in 1733, and was direct ancestor of 
the successful claimant, Henry John, 3rd Earl Talbot, who thus became i8th Earl 
of Shrewsbury." — ■Grazehrooke' s " Heraldry of Worcestershire." 

At the north-east end of the chancel is a beautiful raised tomb of alabaster, 
in the Perpendicular style, on which reclines the figure of Elizabeth (Plate VH., 
figure 3), daughter of Ralph, and wife of Sir Gilbert Talbot, of Grafton, Knight of 
the Garter, second son of John, second Earl of Shrewsbury. She died about the 
year 1490, and is represented in the costume of the period, which consists of a 
surcote or low bodied gown, hollowed out at the sides, and fitted to the shape ; over 
this is a mantle, open in front, and fastened across the bosom by a cordon, attached 
on either side to a fermail. The hea 1 dress consists of a close reticulated coiffure, 
originally ornamented with jewels or precious stones, as were also the neck and 
bosom. The jewels have long since vanished, but the holes into which they were 



76 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

fastened are plainly to be seen. Tlie hands and arms, v.-hich were enveloped in 
tight drawn sleeves, and clasped in tlie usual attitude of prayer, have been broken off 
and taken away. 1"he two angels also, that supported the cushions on which the 
head reposes, and the two dogs, against which the feet rest, have, unfortunately, been 
much mutilated. The monument is an elaborate work of art, and adorned with 
images of men, in tlie compartments at the side and end, holding escutcheons ; but 
the arms, Barry Argent and Azure three chaplets Gules, once painted on them, are 
v,-orn off (Plate VI., figure 3.) 

On the north wall of the church, on the east side of the doorway, are tablets, 
bearing inscriptions as under : — • 

In affectionate Remembrance of 
JOHN HORTON (for 55 years Surgeon of this Town) he died 

March 11^'/ 1852 aged 80 years 
also of JANE WINIFRED HORTON (his wife) she died 

FebV 17'.'? 1832 aged 54 years 



Children of the above 

ANN HORTON, died Sept' 4'.'? 1S19 aged 11 years 

JOHN HORTON, died May 6'.^ 1821 aged 21 years 

MAR.Y HORTON, died June 23'.';i 1824 aged 18 years 

The above lie buried in a Vault near this place 



THOMAS HORTON (Surgeon of Bromsgrove) buried in 

a Vault in the Churchyard, died Nov' 6'A' 1832 

aged 27 years 



Also of 3 Children who died in their Infancy 

Near this Place 

are deposited the Remains of 

Ann, the AVife of Thomas ^Iorgan 

and Daughter of 

M^v Richard Walker 

(late Surgeon of this Town) 

She departed this Life y' 26'}} July 1805 

Aged 36 years 

She was an affectionate Wife 

A most indulgent Mother 

a sincere Friend 

And an exemplary Christian. 



ITS HISTORY AND AN' I lolT I lES, 77 

To 

The Memory of 

MRS- MARY LO^VE 

who 

After having spent 

a Long Life 

of True Religion 

and Virtue 

Expired 

Generally Lamented 

on the tenth Day 

of January 
A.D. 1 791 JE 82. 

The family of the Lowes, in the early part of the 17th century, were the largest 
landowners in the parish of Bromsgrove, and lived at Chadwich, another branch 
residing at Perry Hall. The last of the latter family sold Perry Hall to Edward 
Knight, of W'olverley, who afterwards made large additions to his property in the 
neighbourhood, including Barnesley Hall, Red Cross, the Cotton Factory and land 
around it, Townsend Farm, Lowes Hill, Shop Close, &c. The estates, however, on 
the death of one of the famil}-, were thrown into Chancery, and disposed of by 
order of that Court, by public auction, at the Golden Cross Hotel, May 25th, 1853, 

The Chadwich property went, by marriage, to Henry D. Jeffries, of Worcester, 
who sold it in 1776 to John Hutton, of Birmingham, stationer.* 

Humphrey Lowe, of Chadwich, served the office of High Sheriff of this county 
in the 27th of Charles H. The Lowes, of Bromsgrove, were a branch of the 
Lowes, of The Lowe, Lindridge, A\'orcestershire, springing from Humphrey (who 
died 1637), youngest son of Henry Lowe, of The Lowe. He had two sons : Thomas, 
who died unmarried : and Humphrey, of Bromsgrove, who married Rebecca, 
daughter of Benjamin Joliffe, of Cofton Hackett, and was grandfather of Thomas 
Humphrey Lowe, who married, in 1780, Lucy, the elder of the two daughters and 
co-heiress of Thomas Hill of Court of Hill, Salop. A Roger Lovre, of Bromsgrove, 
gent., was fined ^^ 10 for not taking knighthood at the coronation of Charles L, and 
his name a])pears in the list of disclaimers at the Visitation of 1634; but he is not 
mentioned in the pedigree of this family, given by Burke, in his ''Commoners and 

"* In llic "Life of William HuUon,'' wriUcn by himself, this purchase is referred to as 
follows: — "I bought the Manor and Estate of Chadwich, for ;i^45oo, upon a promise, from an 
attorney, of supplying me with what money I should want. I lei it for ^300 a year, and kept it one 
year ; when it appeared that I could not fulfd my bargain, because my attorney had deceived me ; 
nor the seller his, because in some places he had charged near twice as much land as there really 
was. He was pleased that I had procured a tenant at an advanced rent, and we mutually agreed to 
dissolve the contract. My family rejoiced, but I lamented." 



fft nK(l.^^^(;i<0\■|■. cm'KCH j 

Landed Gentry." On January lotli, 1655, a Mr. Lowe, of J3ronisgrovc, was rohhcd 

o{ ;£i2o in silver, and a considerable sum in gold, about twul\"c o'clock at niglit, by 

10 horsemen, who bound him and his family and got off undiscovered, but were 

afterwards taken. 

Outside this Wall 

lie the Remains 

of the late CHRISTOPHER BELL 

who died June 12, 1690 Aged 52 Years 

Also of PHCEBE BELL Sister of the above 
who bequeathed Land in trust for 
the benefit of the Poor of this Parish 
and who died June 19'.'} 17 10. 

At the expence of the Trustees of the 
General Charities this Monument was 
repaired and removed into the Church ■ 
in the year 1826 the better to com- 
memorate the good deeds of the 
above PHCEBE BELL the produce 
of whose land now 
amounts to ;£2j p'' Annum. 
This tablet was originally fastened against the wall at the east end of the chancel. 
Phoebe Bell, by will, dated 30th April, 1706, devised to Humphrey Lowe and 
four others, all of Bromsgrove, " her meadows, closes, parcels of arable land or 
meadow ground, in the parish of Bromsgrove, part of two common fields, called 
Church Field, and Great Perry Field ; in trust that they should, at Christmas yearly, 
dispose of the rents in clothing such of the most honest, and industrious and 
religious poor ancient men and women of the town of Bromsgrove, who, through 
age, infirmity, or other calamity should be the greatest objects of charity." Part of 
this land was exchanged for other land in 1S03. 

The arms of this family were Argent, on a chevron between three escallops 
gules two barrulets (or rather bars gemelles) of the field, on a chief of the second a 
hawk's lure between two falcons of the first. 

" Li 1632," says Grazebrook, in his "Heraldry of V.'orcestcrshire," "there was 
printed at Douay a curious work, called 'The testament of V\'illiam Bel, of Temple 
Broughton, left written in his owne hand, sett ovt above 2>2) yearcs after hys death, 
with Annotations by his Sonne Francise Bel, of the Order of Freers Minors of the 
College of Dovvay,' " i2mo. 

This William Bell was "cruelly martyred" at Tyburn, nth December, 1643. I" 
his will he gives an account of his ancestors and familv, and of the lands held 



IIS HlSIOK\ ANU ANi ig"' lll:;.s. ffj 

by them in \\"orcestershire, from the time of Edward I. The name was originally 
dg Bclne, afterwards shortened to Ik"), or IJell. It is asserted that the Manors of 
Bromsgrove and King's Norton belonged to this family. W. Bel, the martyr, came 
to London as a law student, and shared the " chamber and bed of that worshipful! 
gentleman, Mr. George Shirley (Hotten)." A Mr. Bell was dcpiify stcu^ard of the 
Manor of Bromsgrove in the reign of Elizabeth, but none of the name appear 
as lords of either Bromsgrove or King's Norton. A family of the name was, 
however, anciently seated at Bell or Belne Hall, in Belbroughton. 

In Memory 

of Eliz. the widow of JOHN a younger branch 

of the PERROTTS of BELL HALL in this County 

she was Born in 1645, <^yed in 1707 and was 

Buried near this Stone. 

Descended 

from a family not more Distinguished by its 

Antiquity and affluence, than its Steadiness (Jc 

Sufferings in the Cause of CHARLES the first 

which in the year 1641, became a Defence of 

the Religion and Liberties of ENGLAND. 

Her Father 

was JOHN BROOK Esquire of HASELOVER in 

the County of STAFFORD, whose Cirandfather 

ROBERT, married LUCY the Daughter & 

Co-heiress of THOMAS STANLEY, Second Son 

of EDWARD Earl of DERBY, by DOROTHY 

Daughter of THO^L\S, Duke of NORFOLK; & 

her mother being an heiress Descended from 

RICHARD son of EDMUND Lord (& brother to 

RALPH Earl of) STAFFORD, Inherited his Estates. 

And of her Daughters who lie near her 

LUCY the widow of JOHN BRADLEY of COLBOURN- 

BROOK in the County of STAFFORD Gent : who 

Died in March, 1744 Aged 75, 

And 

ELIZABETH the widow of SAMUEL SMART of 

this parish Gent: who Died March 1752, in 

the ]'>igiUy first year of her age. 

This stone was oriiiinalh' fixed over the vestrv door. 



8o i;i<OMSGROV K CHt'KCH : 

John PciTOt was the second st^n oi \ViHiam I'crrot, the son of Humphrey 
Pcrrot, who was the purchaser of Bell Hall. This J(;hn Perrot removed from 
Belbroughton to Pedmore, near Stourbridge, where he died in 1728, and was buried 
at Belbroughton, for on a plain blue stone in the chancel floor is this inscription — 

Johannes Perrot nuper 
DE Pedmore in Coi\r 

WiGORN ARU^ Or.IIT 8" DIE 

Martii Anno Dom 1728 
.-Etatis suce 76. 

Under Neath 

Lyeth the Body of Mary 

Palmer ^Vidow departed 

This Life September y^ 2 9'.'} 

1727 Aged 76. 

Here also Lyeth the Body 

of Thomas Palmer Late of 

this Town Apothecary 

Departed this Life the 30 

day of July 1728 Aged 

47 years. 

As he Lived Worthily Esteemed 

So he died Generally Lamented. 

This tablet is cracked across the middle. 

In addition to the foregoing, according to Nash, there were formerly in the 
church the following : — 

"Richard de Harcy and Elizabeth his wife, died 1500, whose souls God 
pardon." 

"Mr. Thomas Sheldon, died ^L^y 2, 1612." 

"Thomas Corbin, mercer, son of John Corbin, gent., died April 14th, 1729, 
aged 25." 

"Elizabeth, widow of Leonard Simpson, Esq.,* died February 6th, 171S, aged 89. 
Sarah Simpson, their daughter, died August 31st, 1729, aged 63."' 

* Leonard Symson, of Bromsgrove, was a J. P. for Worcestershire in 1660, and his name occurs 
in Penn's list of "those who were to find horse," and also in the list of Worcestershire gentry 
given in Blome's "Britannia," 1673. His arms were: Per bend nebulce Or and Sable, a lion 
rampant counterchanged. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



8l 



" Edward Alitton, gent., younger son of Henry Mitten, of Shipton, in the county 
of Salop, Esquire, buried October 15th, 17 19." 

"George Mortimer, lieutenant in his Majesty's regiment of horse, commanded by 
the Earl of Oxford, died January 30th, 1697, aged 2,3-" 

Towards the west end of the church was a cross-legged knight, which Dr. Nash 
says was "covered with the floor of a seat," and which Mr. Noake, in his "Rambler," 
says " is supposed to be near a fathom deep in rubbish, somewhere at the west 
end." 

In the soutli aisle was the portraiture, in brass, of Edward Blundell,* all armed, 
with his beaver open. On the right hand, his wife ; and, between them, their 
arms : Party per pale a chevron counterchanged. 

In the chancel were two stones, bearing the arms 
of Dineley.f The one to the memory of Ann, wife 
of William Chaunce (or Chance), daughter of Mr. 
Christopher Dineley ; the second to the memory of 
her sister Elizabeth, wife of Mr. Thomas Russell. 

I\Ir. Noake, in "The Rambler," says, "A very 
ancient stone effigy, apparently that of a female, was 
dug up some time ago in the north aisle, and is now 
placed in the sill of one of the windows ; it is too 
much defaced to admit of its age being ascertained, 
but the statue must have been the tenant of an older 
edifice than the present church." This effigy is now 
lying outside the church on the ground near the 
north doorway, and is much more defaced than when "^'-^ „.^L J - 
first unearthed. ■•'^-— rc'-v'/^^j^^^-' 



'# 




* Grazebrooke, in his "Heraldry of Worcestershire," referring to tlie family, says : '"William 
IJlundell and Juliana his wife, about the reign of Henry II., did give their lands in Stoke to the 
Monks of Worcester. This fa.mily of Blundell came in with the Conqueror, and is mentioned in 
the roll of Battle Abbey. One of this name and family was escheator of the county, 14 Henry IV. 
They continued here till the reign of Henry VII., and have monuments in Bromsgrove Church and 
.St. Alban's, in Worcester." — {JVas//, citing Habingdon, ii. 379.) 

t Thomas Dineley, of Withall Chapel, or, as he often spelt his name, Dingley, was a man of 
very considerable learning, and very ingenious in drawing with his pen, and wrote a very neat hand. 
He attended .Sir George Downing in his embassy to Holland, in the year 167 1. Dr. Nash says : " I 
have seen two volumes of his drawing with a pen, now in the possession of Sir Edward Winnington, 
at Stanford ; the first contains drawings of houses and monuments in England and Wales, the 
second sketches taken in his travels through Holland, Flanders, &c. To the drawings are annexed 
short accounts of the places, houses, and inscriptions on the monuments. The first volume was 
drawn after his return from Holland, about the year 1676. His schoolmaster was James Shirley, 
poet laureate, whom he mentions with great respect." 



82 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

In tlic middle aisle of the church lay one of the ancient family of Barncslcy,'* of 
Barnesley Hall. There was also a brass plate, on which was an inscription, but this, 
like the figure, has disappeared. 

At the lowest step of the chancel lay William Chaunce, who died May 3rd, 1622. 
His descent from Barnesley was shewn by the arms of that family on his tombstone 
— a cross, between four roses. 

Here lies the Body of 

Mary Allen 

Wife of Thomas Allen Esq":? 

She departed this life ^ 

the 22 of May 1790 

and 

Also of the said Thomas Allen Esq"'.': 

who died March 12 1795 

aged 68 years 

j In Memory 

of GERRARD BARRINGTON Esq-;? Major 

of the Regiment of Buffs who died 

the 23":^ of June 175 1 

In the 64 Year of his Age 

He was much Lamented for his Benevolence 

Both in Public and Private Life 

I Here lyes the Body- of RICHARD 

Hanbury Gent, who died y"^ 18 Dec. 

1724. 

* Barnsley Hall, which Habingdon styles " the seat of ancient gentry," is pleasantly situated on 
the skirt of the Lickey Hills. In the time of Edward I. it was called Brandeley. Afterwards it 
obtained the name of Barndesley without much variation, and then of Barnsley. There is reason to 
suppose that a family of the same name lived here from a very early period, though no authentic 
evidence fixes it sooner than the reign of Edward HI. They were descended from the Ardens, of 
Park Hall, in Warwickshire. Barndesley Hall was in the possession of a Mr. Barndesley in the time 
of Queen Elizabeth, and William Barnesley, of Barnesley Hall, gent., entered his pedigree at the 
visitation of this county, in 1634. The property at one period belonged to the Lowe's, who sold it 
to Edward Knight, of Wolverley. Mr. Noake says : " One of the Barnsley family bore a commission 
in the army, and was on the continent in the German wars ; he there procured an extraordinary 
large thigh bone, 23 inches long and 22 inches in circumference. It was preserved in the old Hall, 
and when the house was pulled down, in 1769, the present house was built and the bone hung up in 
it. Mr. C. Creswell, who now resides at Barnsley Hall (1845), informs me that twenty years ago 
some surgeons examined the bone and pronounced it human." 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 

Here lieth Interred 

John Houghton, Dra|)cr 

by Mary his wife was buried 

— Day of Feb. Anno Domini 

1 701 aged 82 years 

I Here lieth the Body of 

Peter Capelin Gent, who 

Departed this life the 17 

Day of July Ano Dom. 1709 

Aged 66 years 

1 Here Lieth y" body of Mary 

The Wife of Peter Capehn 

Late Cittyzen of London 

CJent. Dcc'd who Departed this 

Life the 5. day of May Anno 

Dom. 171S aged 60 years. 

In Memory of 

John Woodcock apothecary 

who departed this life 

September 2'?::^ 1769 aged 62 years 

Also in Memory of Ann the wife of 

John Woodcock who departed 

this life January 13th 1772 Aged 63 years 

Also of William the son of John and 

Ann Woodcock who departed this life 

October the g^}} i-j-jO aged 6 months 

Also of John their son who departed 
tliis life August 11'.'? 17 13 aged 11 years 

Also in Memory of Anthony \Voodcock 

Surgeon son of the above John and 

Ann Woodcock who departed this life 

June 27'.'.' 1797 Aged — years 

And of Dorothy wife to the said 

Anthony Woodcock who departed this life 

the 13'.'? April 1791, 



84 



BROMSGROYE CHURCH ; 

1 Here Lyeth The Body of 

James Ncwnam* Gent. Liueed 

In Chagley Parrish Who Was 

Born the 5 of August Anno 

Dom. 1632 Departed This Life 

The 16 of April Anno Dom. 1685 

Here Lyeth Alsoe The Body 

Of Mary His Wife Who 

Was Born The 14 of June 

Anno Dom. 1638 Departed 

This Life The 6 of July Anno 

Dom. 1658. 

I Here Lieth the body of 

SAMUEL SMART 

Gent : ^Yho departed this life 

the iq'.'? of March 1732 

Aged 74. 

I Here lieth the Body of 

Samuel Smart Jun""- 

Who Departed this Life 

The 25 day of April 

1 7 14 in the 13 Year of his 

Age. 

; Here lieth the body of 

Susanna Smart, Sister 

To y' Said Samuell Smart 

Jun""- who Departed this 

Life the 19 day of July 

1 7 14 in y* 20 Year of her 

Age. 

* James Newnham, of Chaddcsley, whose name appears in the list of disclaimers in the 
visitation book of 1682-3, was probably the father, by Joan, his wife, of Humphrey Newnham, of 
Winterfold, who married, at Clent, in 1693, Dorothy Cox, and had issue James Newnham, of 
AVinterfold, who was High Sheriff of the County in i743- 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES, 85 

J Here lieth the body of 

A. S. 

Who departed this Ufe 

The 24 February 1700 

aged 1 7 



Here lieth the body of Susaneh 

Smart y* daughter of Samuel Tyler 

Late of Shottery Gent, nov.- deceased 

And the wife of Mr. Samuel Smart 

she departed this life of Friday the 

foure and Twentieth day of April 
1704 and in y" 44 yere of her age. 

Here lieth the body of 
Dameris Walker widow 

daughter of Samuel 
Tyler of Shottery in y*^ 

County of A\'arwick 

Gent : Dec'd departed 

this life the 16 day of 

May Anno Uom. 17 10 

aged 49 years. 

In addition to the above, several of the Vicars of Bromsgrove were buried 
within the chancel, and had flat stones placed to their memory, but few of them are 
now traceable. There is one to the family of Rev. William Phillips, near the priests' 
entrance to the chancel, and another on the north side to the memory of Rev. 
Walter Powell (?) Curate of Bromsgrove. INIany of these stones were taken up from 
the floors, and those having \ opposite to them are now lying outside the church, 
the greater part of them being very much defaced. 




86 liKOMSGROVE CHURCH 



^^1)0 ^XntxxBt?ai'6< 



In Worcestershire there 's not a churchyard found, 

With such a handsome pathway leading round ; 

Full sixty trees, whose branches far extend, 

O'ersjDread the way, from summer's heat defend. 

Prevent the falling rain, draw forth the breeze. 

And cause a pleasant walk beneath the trees ; 

Whose grove-like aspect, to the distant eye, \ 

And in the midst a spire ascending high, ,- 

The traveller admires when passing by, ' 

A view like this, perhaps, he had not seen. 

Where'er his travels formerly had been. 

Joseph Facer* 




|NE of the objects v.hich immediately attract the attention of a visitor 
to the church is the splendid belt of lime trees by which it is 
surrounded. These trees, 57 in number, are not noticed in the 
engraving of the church in Nash's "Worcestershire" (1799), and are supposed 
to have been planted by Charles Brooke, t by direction of one of the Crane family, 

* Author of "A Morning's Walk in Bromsgrove Churchyard." 

+ The Bromsgrove Nimrod. — Perhaps that universal instinct or cosmopolitan propensity, the 
love of hunting, was never more strikingly individualised than in the person of Mr. Charles Brooke, 
of Bromsgrove, who is as well known to all who assist at the meets of fox hounds in this neighbour- 
hood as the Stoke chimney, or even the Lickey itself. That remarkably ubiquitous personage, the 
"oldest inhabitant," informs us that Mr. Brooke has followed the hounds on foot from a period to 
which memory runneth not ; and therefore the reader will not be surprised to learn that his life has 
exceeded by a year the period assigned in Holy Writ as the limit of human existence. He enjoys 
truly a green old age ; and though his shoulders have been squarer, he is still as stout and agile as 
many men at 45 or 50. Mr. Brooke was for six years quartermaster-sergeant in the local militia, 
and during his service as a feather-bed soldier, he had many hard marches. For examjDle, on one 
occasion having marched with the regiment from Worcester to Bromsgrove it was ascertained that a 
return connected with his office was missing, and back he marched same day, not merely to 
Worcester, but to Ledbury. On the next day he marched to Hereford, there missed the General, and 
had to march 13 miles further, and return the same distance that night. Next day he marched 
from Hereford by way of Redmarley, Upton-on-Severn, and Worcester to Bromsgrove, and thus 
completed a march in full regimentals of 120 miles in three days. Mr. Brooke, on retiring from the 



ITS HISTOKV AXD AXTIQUITIES. 87 

in 1792, or a few years before Dr. Nash's history was pubhshed. It is said a bottle 
of port wine was deposited at the root of each tree, but it would be more reasonable 
to suppose that it was consumed by the parties engaged in the planting. 

In connection with one of these trees a curious story has gone abroad, and 
during the present year (1880) a gentleman from the north of England came here to 
verify what he had heard, viz., that there was, springing from the root of one of the 
trees, a splendid stream of water, clear as crystal. It is impossible to tell how 
the story got into circulation. 

In the churchyard are three yew trees — an old one nearly opposite the south 
door, and two, not so old, on the north side, near the boundary wall. Mr. Noake, in 
his " Rambler," referring to yew trees in churchyards, says : " Some suppose that 
they were intended to furnish bows for archers, before fire-arms were invented ; 
others, that the yew was selected by the early Christians to supersede the cypress, 
which was the Pagan emblem of annihilation, while the former, by its perpetual 
verdure, symbolised that everlasting life which was the great reward held out by the 
new faith. It is, however, certain that the yew tree, now so fallen in value, seven 
centuries ago was in higher estimation than even the oak. With its tough, sinewy 
arms were won the red fields of Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt, where the 
archers' shafts, old Froissart tells us, fell so thick and continuous that they seemed 
like unto snow, neither hauberk nor head-piece being able to withstand their 
passage." 

Between the lich gate and the priests' entrance on the south side of the chancel, 
was an old sun dial, erected in 1773, denoting the spot where formerly stood a large 

profession of the sword, changed his spontoon for a constable's staff, and his hard marches into 
a careful perambulation of the parish of Bromsgrove. He so well and truly performed his office of 
constable during eight years as on several occasions to have had the honour of the thanks of 
her Majesty's Judges of Assize ; and when he retired from its arduous duties, it was with regret alike 
of the magistrates and the inhabitants. He now enjoys his ease, possessed of a small independency, 
and he dresses something like a gamekeeper ; in fact, we for a long time imagined him to be in the 
service of some neighbouring gentleman in that capacity. For 50 years he kept greyhounds, and 
was a regular attendant at all the coursing meetings within a reasonable distance of Bromsgrove, 
and he frequently has walked from Bromsgrove to Croome, followed the coursing all day, and walked 
back at night. During the last hunting season he met the hounds at Mr. Croydon's Mill Pool, and 
after a long chase occupying nearly the whole of the day, was in at the death, along with Major 
Clowes, ISIr. G. W. Biggs, Mr. F. Taylor, Mr. Brock, and the huntsman, and received the brush 
from the Major. The hounds found at Mill Pool, the fo.\ took for Hindlip through the Droitwich 
canal, then for Oakley, and ran for some time in the wood, then to Oddingley, again to Oakley, 
next to Hadzor, and for Hanbury through the Worcester canal, and was run into and killed near 
Summer Hill, at Hanbury. A subscription has been set on foot for taking a portrait of this 
sportsman ; and an excellent picture, which gives the mild and cheerful features of the old man to 
the life, has been executed in crayons by Mr. Dalton, of Birmingham, and is now to be seen at 
the Bell Inn, Bromsgrove. The veteran has been painted with the brush in his hand presented him 
by the master of the hounds. — Worcester Herald, April 26th, 1851. 



88 BROMSGROVK CHURCH : 

ancient cross.* The brass dial was stolen, and a reward offered for the discovery of the 
thief. Over the south porch was another sun dial, at the top of which were the words, 
"We shall," the latter part of the name of the instrument completing the sentence, 
thus — "We shall (dial) die all." This was removed at the restoration of the church. 
The churchyard originally was bounded by a stone wall, 248 yards in length, and 
was kept in repair, prior to the year 1600, by the following yields : — 

The Town Yield repaired 80 yards from "The stayers" 

towards the Litchgates. 

Burnford Yield repaired 14 yards. 

Woodcote „ „ 9 „ and I foot. 

Timberhonger Yield „ 10 ,, 

Fockbury Yield ,, 16 ,, 

Catshill ,, ,, 26 „ 

Barnsly ,, „ 17 „ 

Chadwick and WilUngwick Yield ,, 22 ,, and 2 feet. 

Gannow Yield ,, 8 ,, 

Shepley „ „ 15 „ 

Burcot „ ,, 13 „ 

Padstone ,, ,, 12 ,, 

"The Comandery" ,, 5 ,, 

A new wall was built round it in 181 5, the work being commenced March 27th. 

The churchyard was enlarged about the year 1824, by the addition of a piece of 
land on the north side, which belonged to the " Crown Hotel," and included the 
cellaring where drinkables were stored, chiefly for supplying the " bowling green " 
adjoining, the site of which is occupied by the present National Schools. The cellar 
has been utilised by conversion into two vaults, the one belonging to the Dipples, 
and the other to the Compsons. The size of the cellar was about i6ft. by loft. 6in. 

* There were several other crosses in the parish. In front of the Town Hall stood a great 
high cross, which was removed in 1732. There was a large round stone in the centre of the 
Kidderminster Road, at the point where the lane from Red Cross passes over it to Whitford. The 
stone had a hole in the middle of it, and was said to have been used as the socket hole into which 
the Papists placed the cross carried by them in their processions. At Shepley was a like stone, 
called " Sheply Cross." At the upper end of the Lickey Common, about three miles from 
Bromsgrove, was another, called "Stone Cross." In Hanover Street we read on a stone in the 
wall of one of the houses — Neare 

St. John^ Cro^s 

Hanover 

Street 

Anno dom"' 

1715- 

It is supposed that St. John Street formerly extended further, and that at the junction of the streets 

a cross stood to the memory of St. John the Baptist, after whom the street is named and the parish 

church dedicated. At the upper end of High Street stood & cross known as "'Welch Cross." 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



onx£>^ axxb ^xavc^foxxc!^. 



Those num'ious hillocks, silent though they Ijc, 
They loudly speak of man's mortality ; 
With ceaseless eloquence they plainly teach, 
In silence, stronger than divines can preach. 
The child, just come to breathe the vital air. 
The father's hopes, the mother's tender care, 
Cropp'd in the bud, is number'd with the dead, 
Quickly cut down, before its blossoms spread. 
The growing youth, who thought of years in store. 
And fancied coming joys, when months were o'er ; 
By Death's resistless arm is snatched away 
From kindly friends, to mourn his shorten'd stay. 
The full grown youth, whose blood with vigor flow'd, 
Whose bosom with enchanting pleasure glow'd ; 
Who promis'd lengthen'd life, and lasting bloom, 
Has found a faded and a breathless doom. 
The middle-ag'd, their busy work is done. 
Their restless, cank'ring cares for ever gone ; 
Their darling hopes, their fondest joys destroy'd, 
They've left that earthly bliss, they ne'er enjoy'd. 
Here hoary-headed, tott'ring, trembling age, 
Quite tir'd of life's deceitful, painful stage ; 
With failing eyes, with pale and wrinkled face. 
Within this ground, is now allow'd a space. 



Joseph Facer. 




In the following description of the most interesting tombs and stones 
in the churchyard the inscriptions are given as acciu"ately as possible, 
with such note.s on the respective families as are available. 
On the top of the north boundary wall is an old stone figure, called "Tom 
Thumb's," or " Tom's " monument. It has on a tunic, or mantle ; the hands are 
placed in the attitude of prayer, but the features are entirely gone. It may have 
formed the lid to some coffin. Connected with this figure is an extraordinary 
tradition. It is said that the individual represented sold himself to his Satanic 
Majesty for certain considerations, some of which were to be advantageous to the 
seller in his sojourn through this life. The final stipulation, howe^'er, was that when 
he died he should not be buried either in or out of the churchyard : but this was 



90 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

evaded by his giving orders to be buried under the boundary wall, and the figure 
placed on the top of the wall over his remains. The story is very like that of the 
man who signed a i)ledge not to drink any alcoholic drinks either inside or outside a 
house, but who regularly got drunk standing on the sill of his own door. 

As the church)'ard has been enlarged, and the boundary wall removed some 
20 yards from its former position, it would be interesting to know to what extent 
Tom's bargain is affected. 

In a manuscript note on this figure, dated 1778, it is referred to as that of 
" a woman, with the arms, face, and breasts Very much defaced. How long it has 
been there is not known ; it is said to belong to the Hughbourne's (Huband's), of 
Ipsley."* The length of the stone is four feet, and the width one foot, and it 
has been spoken of as that of a deformed dwarf ^^'hich of these assertions (if 
either) is correct, must be left for the reader to decide. 

Our churchyard, so far as the writer is 

aware, does not possess any early incised cross 

slabs, and only one example of the raised cross 

slab or coffin lid. This is near the lich gate, 

at the top of the steps leading from St. John 

Street. It is now in an upright position, and, 

like very many of the gravestones, has been 

removed from its original situation and placed 

beside the path to support the bank. The lower 

.part of the stone is inserted in the ground, so 

that the upper part only is exposed to view. 

The length of the stone is four feet, its breadth 

j at the head 25 inches, and at the foot 22 inches. 

\ An engraving of it is here given, showing the 

1; "St. Andrew''s Cross" united with the "Christ's 

lllifi .-■ . Cross," the reason for which it is difficult to 

!, ' -^=*' '' ; conjecture. A slab, very similar in design to 

r , ; i„ui, , iil this, and ascribed by the Rev. Edward L. Cutts, 

b^^^^aiMii^^ in his " Manual for the Study of the Sepulchral 

Slabs and Crosses of the Middle Ages," to the 13th century, is to be seen in Elford 

churchyard, Staffordshire. The stone has two small holes, about an inch in diameter 

and about the same in depth, in the upper part. 

* The Worcestershire branch of the Hiiband family (which is of great antiquity in Warwick- 
shire), was founded by Anthony Huband, fourth son of Nicholas Huband, of Ipsley (who died in 
1544), by Dorothy his wife, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Danvers, knight. A baronetcy, now 
extinct, was conferred in 1660-1 on John Huband, of Ipsley. An account of the family is given in 
Pugdale's "Warwickshire," 



ITS HISTORY -VXD AN IK )LH JKS. 



91 



In the churchyard is a Large stone tomb, inclosed with tall iron rails, having a 
very clumsy figure of a man lying thereon, in a night-gown and cap, his head on 
a cushion, his hands on his breast. The heavy, clumsy appearance of the figure 
may be accounted for by the fact that it was cut by a working miller, who evidently 
mistook his calling when he turned his attention to stone car\ing. On the side 
ol the tomb a brass shield was leaded into the stonework, bearing this inscription : — 

Erected 

To the memor)- 

of 

A\'m. Chance, gent. 

obi it Feb. 5 

1768 

Et. 82. 

The shield was stolen,* and no inscription now remains on the tomb. 

On the sides and ends of another tomb is the following, the ages being worthy of 
note : — 
(Side.) Here lyeth the Body of Richard Palmer 

of the Parrish of SolyhuU in the County 
of ^Warwick he departed this life y*" 8 da}- 
of February 1710-11 aged 69 
Mors omnibus Communis. 
Jacob Wilson died December 30'.'} 1795 ^g^d 64 
Mary Wilson died May 11 '.I' 1797 aged 62 
Ann Wilson died August 8* 1803 aged 74 
Elizabeth Carpenter died April 15'.'? 1826 aged 78. 



(End.) 



fSi.li.i 



Richard 
Richard 
Anne 
Martha 

Joseph 
Benjamin 
Saiah 
Thomas 



^ 1 

i I ^ 

I CLI I 

I '^ J 



Lazarus ^^■ilson died July 5'.'.' 1784 

aged 85 years 

Mary his wife died Nov. 7'.h 1786 

aged 79 years. 

^ ] June y'^ 6-1705 \ 

\ i_ Feb. y= 4II: 1707 J 

Feb. y*-" i^? 170S 9 j 

Mar. y"' 20".'.^ 1709 -'o [. 
Jan. y-^ 7'.i: 



f 



October y'' 13'.'? 17 17 
August y" 16'.'; 1720 
l-eb. )■'■ 27'.'.' 1720 21 [ 



\ 





17 


weeks 




a 


11 


weeks 
weeks 






12 


weeks 




■ 




nionths 






^I 


weeks 




to 


6 


years & 


15 weeks 




ro 


davs 





* On XovLinbcr 24111, 1S29, ihrcc bodies wore stolen from ihc churchyard. 



ya l3KU.MSURO\l. I 111 KCll ! 

(^>"i-) In Memory of Ann the Wife of 

Mr. Joseph Pahner who departed this 
life the 15 Day of April 1729 aL;ed 53 

Also in Memory of the aforesaid 

Mr. Joseph Palmer who departed this 

life the lo" day of November 1763 

aged 82 years. 

The Palmers were a Warwickshire family. The Richard Palmer first mentioned 
was the only son of Robert Palmer (by his second wife), of Bloclcley, in this county, 
who vras the second son of Richard Palmer, and younger brother of John Palmer, 
of Compton, in Warwickshire. To the memory of a Dudley branch of the family 
there is also another long railed-in tomb in the " new ground." 

Many of the ancient and most interesting lettered stones are at the east end 
of the church. "What appears to be the oldest lettered stone is shown on plate 
viii., figure 2. 

The latter part of the inscription on this stone is not plain. A family of 
"Wannertons flourished at Hagley about the beginning of the i6th century. 

Not far from this is the stone shown on plate viii., figure i. 

This John Callowe, a list maker by trade, lived at, and was owner of, the Black 
Cross Inn, and a field called "Shurnell." At his death the property passed to 
his son William, a shoemaker. In his will this item appears : " I give and bequeath 
unto all my nephews and nieces the sum of one shilling each, to be paid by my 
executrix hereafter named." The property passed to the Hunts, and by them was 
sold to William Shenstone, alderman of Bromsgrove, who died August ist, 1779. 
He had a son, Richard, also an alderman. In the churchyard are gravestones to 
members of the family. 

Near the top of the church steps is a stone (on which nearly every boy in 
the parish appears to have s'iar})encd his knife or slate pencil); to tl:e memory of 

:\Iary daughter of }d. ^^^ 
Biggs ob' 5'.^ Aug. 1685. aged 18. 

A quondum beauty here is laid in dust, 

And (tho' but young) was prudent, pious, just ; 

So modest, gracious, meek, so void of liate, 

No injury she could retaliate. 

But tears lo earth, her sighs to heaven sent. 

Ne'er bitter language shew'd her malcontent ; 

She pious councel, dyeing, gave lo all. 

To be with Christ she longed, and her soul 

Is now at heaven, in whom every grace 

Was prolo varnish'd with an angel's face. 

A Matthew Biggs, his v.ife and two children, paid poll tax in 1690. 



Plate Tin 






/LY 
MARCH 1'^ 

^ B o O Y ■Dil^.Ml'!'^^,^ N r v#H)'| 



.)4^»fe. 



FIC.l- 








FIG. 2. 



ITS HISTORY AND AXTIQUITIES. 

Here 
.ietli the body of Charles Chu'k 
.who departed this life 
September the 13'.'? 1761. 



A loving Husband a Father Dear 
A Faithful Friend lies Buried here 
His acquaintance miss him since his Fall 
His Relations miss him most' of All. 



On a cnriou.s stone, with a Death's head and cross-l^ones on the top 

In Memory of 

Alice wife of Thomas Hemus 

who died July 26'.'? 16S6. 

Also Elizabeth their daughter 
died Se])tember 27''.! 1685. 

Here Lyeth the Body of I'ranres the 

wife of William Porter Mercer who De 

parted this life November the i^} 1685. 

And also John his son Mar. the 13'.'.' 1685. 



" IJlessed are the dead which die in the Lord."' 

On the back of this stone are lines recording the death of Abraham Pritchett, of 
the "Lower Dolphin," on March 15th, 1796, aged 52, and his wife Elizabeth in 
1807. The present "Bell Inn" was called the Lower Dolphin, to distinguish it 
from the "Upper Dolphin," or "The Dolphin." The Bell Inn was known in 
the first place as the "White Swan;" it was afterwards altered to the "Lower 
Dolphin ; " but when the property was jjurchased by \Villiam Rose, he, after his 
appointment as clerk of the parish church, went to live at the house, and altered the 
sign to that of the Bell, selecting the latter name from the fact of his being one of 
the change ringers at the church. The fields in the rear of the house are known as 
" Pritchett's Fields," and the site of the old l)o\vling green is now occupied by 
the College School (Mr. Saywell's). 

William Porter issued a halfpenny token in 1668. 

O. WILLIAM PORTER ... HIS HALF PEXV 

/?, IN 13R0MSGR0VE t668 W. P. j4 



94 BROMSr;RO\T. CTIURCH ; 

Over the priests' entrance, on the outside wall of the chancel, is a tablet : — 

Under these 3 stones, are 

interred the Ijod\'s of 'I'homas 

Porter, of Bromsgrove, Mercer, who 

died in the year 1673, being the 73':*' 

year of his age. And of Mary his 

wife, who died November the 13'.'? 

1702, being the 86'.'? year of her age 

And of Samuel their Son, v.ho died 

November i^? 1703) 
With several other of their children. 



"Blessed are the dead which die in 
the lord." Revelations 14".' V^ 13".' 

Thomas Porter issued a halfpenny token in 166S. 

O. THOMAS PORTER ... ... HIS HALF RENY 

R. IN BROMSGROVE i66S ... I'. P. conjoined. 
On the south wall of the chancel was a tablet to the memory of Samuel Porter, 
who died in 1703, leaving two estates at Stoke Prior, of which the rent was then 
^56 IIS. 2d., for 99 years, to be distributed among such poor of the parish as 
received no pay. The term expired in 1803. 

There are numerous stones to the memory of members of the Brooke family :— 

Here Lyeth Buried the Body of Roger 

Brooke who departed this Ufe the 19'.'.' 

Day of February Anno Domini 1704 

aged 68 years. 



He is not dead but sleeps, No Good Man dies 
But like the sun that sets ne.xt day to rise 
With Brighter beauties, so after Deaths short night 
The just shall reign with Christ in Endless Light. 

On a tomb to the memory of AVilliam Blackford are these lines :- 
Encomiums on the Dead are empty Sounds and 
Mockery, the last great Day alone will wipe 
the colouring off, and Mans true state without 
a veil, will stand disclosed to view. 

On a stone, the lettering of which is scarcely visible : — 
Pale death will hardly find a Nother 
So Good a wife so kind a Mother 
In all her actions so discreet 
Was She who here lies at your feet. 



ITS HISTORY AXD ANTIQUITIES. 95 

SACRED 

To the memory of 
Arthur Macnally & Anne liis wife 



Arthur Macnally 
Died May 17'.'? 18 17 

Aged 72 



Anne Macnally 

Died Sep. 26'.'? 183 1 

Aged 76 



Reciuiescant in Pace. 



I know that my Redeemer liveth 
And in the last day I shall rise out of the earth 
and in my flesh (in this very flesh) which death 
will reduce to dust, I shall see my God. 
This my hope is laid up in my bosom. 

On a Stone to the memory of one Humi^hrey Coley, who died August 25th, 
1727, aged 6^ :— 

Dear Friends weep not for me i pray 
though sudden death snatched me away 
my del)ts are paid my grave you see 
wait l)ut awile you'l l)e with me. 

At the foot of a stone, dated 17 14: — 

Here lieth a Child Virtuous and good 
Iler choice was Here to Ly and sleep 
Whilst her friends behind 
Lament & weep. 

In Memory of 

Ann the wife of ^^'illiam Penn who departed 

this life Dec' y" iG'.l' 1787 aged 41 years. 

Good people all that read these lines 
On Heavenly things now fix your mind 
Repent in time make no delay 
For no one knows their dicing day. 

Here lyeth y" Body of 

Mary the Daughter of 

George Fownes by Mary 

his wife Shee Departed 

this life July the 7^.'? 1721 

Aged one year. 

I Init began to live that I might die 
And only dyd to live eternally. 



96 liROMSGROVF. CHURCH : 

On a stone to the memory of Mary, wife of Richard Stanton, wlio died 

December i6th, 1801 : — 

Beneath this stone confined lies, 

Till God shall call the dead to rise, 

A faithful friend, a kind relation : 

We hope through Christ she hath salvation. 

Sacred 

To the Memory of Ann 

A\^ife of Richard Wilkes 

who departed this Life the 241.'} day 

of May 1804 aged 74 y''= 



In life beloved in death for ever dear 
O Friend O Partner take this parting tear 
If life has left me aught that asks a sigh 
Tis luU like thee to live like thee to die. 

Also to the Memory of the above 

Richard Wilkes 

who died the S'.'? day of April iSti 

in the 80 year of his age. 



Here lies the just and truly honest man 
Say more I dare not and say less who can. 

Sacred 

To the Memory of Dorothy I.owis 

who died 22';^* of February 1827, 

aged 100 years. 

She was the daughter of 

"William Baker Esq":? of Londonderry 

and grand-daughter of Major Baker 

who was governor of the city and 

commanded the forces when attacked 

by the army and friends of James 2^.'^ 

after the battle of the Boyne. 

Here is also interred James Mitchell 

who died December 24'.'? 1821 

aged 6 1 years. 

The above is, we believe, the greatest age recorded in the churchyard ; as a 
contrast we have — Ann, the daughter of Stephen and Mary Lilley, " Departed this 
life February the i6'h 1748 aged 2 Hours,'' 



11^ lilhlOKV aMJ A.N I KJl I 111,5.. tjy 

On a stone to the memory of the wife of ^\'iUiam Oreen, who died December 
22nd, 1813 : — • 

Peace to her pious shade intoml/d lies here 
The best of Women and of Friends most dear 
Farewell dear partner, best of wives adieu 
May Christ prepare us all to follow you. 



Sacred 

to the memory of 

James Mercer (Leiutenant 

of the 4'.'? Royal Veteran Battalions) 

who departed this life Aug^ 26'.'? 1822 

Aged 62 years 

Also five children who died in their 
Imfancy 

Also Ann Wife of the Said James 

Mercer died Deer 21st 1825 aged 50 years 

Leaving a Son and Daughter to deplore her 

irreparable loss, as a most indulgent Parent, and 

an affectionate Friend. 



t 



Sacred 

To the Memory of 

William Crawford 

who died suddenly at the Crown Hotel 

February 2 2'?5' 1833 aged 39 years. 



O reader stay and cast an eye 
Upon this grave wherein I lie 
For cruel death has challeng'd me 
And soon alas will call on thee 
Repent in time, make no delay 
For no one knows their dying day. 

Hark from the tombs a doleful sound 

My ears attend the cry 
Ye living men come view the ground 

Where you must shortly lie. 

On the ground near the south chancel wall are stones to the memory of the 
CuUwicks, who for many years kept the Crown Hotel. 



98 i;roms(;k()\]'; ciilkcii : 

On a stone near the great east window, erected to tlie memory of Robert 

Kiniberley (who died July 31st, 1659), and other menil)ers of his family : — - 

Doat not on Earthly things, Seek joys Alcove, 
In Blissful Mansions of Eternal Love. 

A John Kimberley, who died in 1500, was buried in a brick grave in the chancel. 
— -The above-named Robert Kimberley, described as "Alderman of y^ parish of 
Bromsgrove," was descended from Robert Kymberley, who in 1563 was ai)pointed 
head master of King Edward's School, Bromsgrove. He was of the same family as 
"Samuel Kimberley, Doctor of Physick," who was brother to Solomon Kimberley, 
"a famed preacher in the University," and Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles II. 
William Kimberley, churchwarden of Bromsgrove in 1744, and who is described as 
" gentleman," was also of this family. Descendants of the family are still living 
at Bromsgrove. 

Mary Benson, who died July ist, 1749, aged 29, was — 

Grateful to her friends, just to her 
Mother, Dutiful to her Parents, 
And ever Faithful to her God. 

At the top of this stone is a representation of the sun resjjlendent, and at the 

bottom a Death's head. 

On a stone to the memory of John Corbett, of the Bank House Farm, who died 

in 1848, aged 67, is the verse : — • 

His hour was come, no power on earth could save 
"The good old man" that rests within this grave ; 
Nor did he wish to live : — prepared to die, 
His soul was gathered to the saints on high ; 
vSo falls to earth at last the ripened grain 
To perish not ; but rise, and live again. 

" His peaceful old age, was an evening ^ 

without a cloud."' 

Here was Interred the 

Body of Thomas 

HoUiman died the 

th April rs 

10 1716 aged near 24 y 



Passenger stand still & behold this stone 
where thou may'st read of one so quickly (gone) 
who gives thee warning never to delay 
Finishing all thy work whilst it is day 
that thou & he may'st come to meet at last 
And be with God and all the Godly blest. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 99 

Sacred 

l"o the Memory of Samuel (Jrove 

who died Feby 28 1837 aged 50 years. 



A Faithful Friend, a Husband Good 
Beloved by all his Neighbourhood 
He labour'd hard until his Death 
And then to Christ resign'd his breath. 

On a stone to the memory of the widow of John Milward, afterwards married to 
George Stonehall, but buried in the grave of her first husband, are these Hnes : — 

While unconscious the danger which shortened my day 

The pathway of Pleasure I trode 
In an instant my spirit was summon'd away 

And I stood in the presence of God. 
In an instant I sank 'ncath the shadow of death 

And eternity around me arose 
O Reader ! remember that life is a breath 

And a breath may bring thine to a close. 

She fell down dead, near Dyer's Bridge, on the Worcester Road. None of the 
lines are now readable, nor is any date visible. 

To the memory of Thoirias Mannaley, who died May 3rd, 181 9. He was 
stabbed by a currier, near the Town Hall, and from whence he succeeded in getting 
as far as the "Shoulder of Mutton," in St. John Street, opposite which house 
he died :— ... Beneath 

The overhanging roof of yon gashed tree, 

A gravestone tells the melancholy tale 

Of man, by fellow-man's unnatural hands. 

Hurried unbidden, and, perhaps, unready, 

Before the bar of the Omniscient Judge.* 

On the stone is the following verse : — 

Beneath this stone lie the remains, 
Who in Bromsgrove street was slain, 
A currier with his knife did the deed, 
And left me in the street to bleed ; 
But when archangel's trump shall sound 
And souls to bodies join — that murderer 
I hope will see my soul in heaven shine. 

William Smith, late of Finstol, who died March 31st, 1796, aged 86, was — 

Plain in his dress, in all his words sincere 
In all his actions just, his concience clear. 

* The lines quoted are by the late Mr. J. H. Scroxton. The stone is near the boundary of the 
churchyard, on the east side, and near to one of the lime trees, in which the initials T M, and ;\ 
cross underneath, are deeply cut, 



5 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

To the memory of Edward Hill, who died January ist, 1800, aged 70 years 

He now in silence here remains, 

Who fouglit with Wolfe on Abram's plains. 

E'en so will Mary Hill, his wife, 

When God shall please to take away her life. 

'Twas Edward Hill their only son, 
Who caused the writing on this stone. 



Here Lieth the Body of John 

Harris who died August 
the 30^1? 1745 aged 60 years. 



He u<as a Loving husband 
Likewise a Faithful friend 

He lived a sober Life 
And made a Godly End. 

Also five children of Edward 

and Mary Braine. 

All those tender Branches were 

Born and Buried within 5 years. 



Here also Lieth the Body 

of Mary the wife of John 

Harris Avho died July 

the 25":^ 1753 aged 70. 



]\Iercy, O Lord I ask 

this is the total sum 
For Mercy Lord is all my suit 

oh Let thy mercy come. 



Here also was buried Here was buried the 

the body of the said W.\ Body of Elizabeth the 

John Higgs who departed wife of Mr. John Higgs 

this life the 1 1 Day of Sep She departed this life y" 

tember 1724 aged 73 yea''^ 28'."? Day of December 

1708. 

2. Timothy 4 chap. 7. verse 

I have fought a good fight 
Have finished my course 
I have kept the faith. 

The wife dying first, the stone was probably erected to her memory, and the first 
part left to record the husband's death. 



John Gilbert Butler, who was buried October 18'.'? 1652, is described as — 

A honest neighbour 
A Loving frend 
Godly in his life 
Hapy in his end. 

There are other stones to the memory of this family, having coats of arms 

on the top, but much defaced. 



ITS HISTORY AXD ANTKjUITIES. 

Sacred 

to the Memory of Mar}-, wife of 

Joshua Peart, who died May i8''? 1795 

aged 67 years. 

Also Susanna his second wife who died 
July 8'h 1 8 14 aged 74 years. 

Also Leonora his third wife who died 

February 6^^ 1819 aged 81 years. 

Also Sarah Wilkes Sister of the above 

Susanna Peart who died July iplh 18 19 

aged 70 years. 

Also the above Joseph Peart, he died 
July 28'."? 1825 aged 87 years. 



Mark the perfect man and behold the upright : for the 
end of that man is Peace. Psahn 37'.'.' and verse 37'.'.' 

Mr. Peart belonged to an old Baptist family. At his death he left an endowment 
tOAvards the support of the minister for the time being of the Baptist Church, 
Bromsgrove ; and the same is now received towards the stipend of the minister 
of the New Road Baptist Chapel. 

On a stone to the memory of Thomas Sanders, wlio died January 4th, 1 700, his 

wife dying June 3rd, in the same year, is a Death's head, with an hour-glass on either 

side, and scrolls which bear the following : — 

The glass is run Good people all 

Our Sand is spent in time repent. 

Here lycth the Body of M'' 

John Smith of Dodford was 

Interrd July the 9'.'} 1729 aged 50 years. 

Also Elizabeth his wife was here Interrd 

January the 9'.'} 1728-9 Aged 41 years. 



Death a short space did Man and Wife divide 
To live without her he a little tried 
Found it to hard a task and then he died 
In all Relations They Behaved so Well 
Vou'l scarcely Match Them with a Paralell 

Also AVilliam the 11 Son Departed 
This hfe Sep y"^ 13 1758 aged 49 years. 



2 - liKOMSGROVE CHURCH : 

In Memory of 

Ann 

wife of Thomas Burns 

of Edingburg 

Writer to his Majesty's Signet 

who died 14 Nov' 18 14. 

On a stone, the upper part of which has crumbled away : — 

Fair well vain world I've seen Enough of thee 
I value not what thou can'st say to me 
Thy smiles I court not, nor thy frowns I fear 
My clays are past, my head lies quiet here 
The faults you see in me beshure to shun 
And look at home there's plenty to be done. 

Here Lyeth 

the body of Frances 

the wife of Jonathan Pinfield 

who departed this hfe Oct 

y*" S"' 1746 aged 39 ys 



A dear wife I have lost 

Which was my whole delight 
Lord instruct me all my dayes 

That I may walk upright. 
Afflictions sore long time she bore 

Phisicians weare in vain 
Till death seiz'd as God was pleas'd 

To ease her of her pain. 

This stone is erected 

to perpetuate the memory of 

James Ridgway 

who died on the 23 day of July 

1839 aged 70 years, 

And who by his daily labour 

and economy accumulated 

the sum of ;^33o which 

he bequeathed by his will 

to the 

Poor of this Parish. 

The interest of this money was to be given away in bread, annually, on St. 

Thomas's Day, to the deserving poor of the parish. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIIJUITIES. 1 03 

There are several stones to the memory of tire Carpenter family. On the stone 
of Richard, who died in 1681, is cut — 

I did resist and strive with death 
but soon he put mc out of breath. 

To the Memory of Thomas Scaifc 

late an Engineer on the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway 

who lost his life at Eromsgrovc Station, l)y the Explosion of 

an Engine Boiler, on Tuesday the lo'.*} of November, 1840. 

He was 28 years of age, highly esteemed by his fellow workmen 

for his many amiable qualities, and his Death will be lamented 

by all those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. 



The following lines were composed by an unknown Friend 
as a Memento of the Worthiness of Deceased : — 
My engine now is cold and still, My fangcs all refuse to guide, 

No water does my boiler fill ; My clacks, also, tho' once so strong, 

My coke affords its flame no more, Refuse to aid the busy throng. 

My days of usefulness are o'er. No more I feel each urging breath, 

My ivhcels deny their wonted speed. My steam is now condensed in death. 

No more my guiding hands they heed ; Life's railway o'er, each station past. 

My whistle, too, has lost its tune, In death I'm stopped and rest at last. 

Its shrill and thrilling sounds are gone ; Farewell, dear friends, and cease to w eep. 

My valves are now thrown open wide. In Christ I'm SAFE, in Ilim I sleep. 

This stone was erected at the joint expence 
of his fellow workmen, 1S42. 

Sacred 

To the Memory of 

Joseph Rutherford 

late Engineer to the Birmingham and Gloucester 

Railway Company, 

who Died Novf nil' 1840, Aged 32 years. 



Oh Reader stay, and cast an eye 
Upon this grave wherein I lie 
For cruel death has challeng'd me 
And soon, alas, will call on thee 
Repent in time make no delay 
For Christ will call you all away. 
My time was spent like dew in sun ^ 

Beyond all cure, my glass is run. 
This stone was erected by his affectionate 
Relict 1 84 1. 
On the top of each of the two last-mentioned stones a railway locomotive is 
carved. 



Ain-il + 


+ 


August + 


+ 


Novem 23 


+ 


April 29, 1680. 





104 liKOMSGROVE CTIURCII : 

Here Lye Sleeping in the dust ihe 
Bodies of Father & Mother iv to Sons 
Thomas Fay ting ] 

And Frances his wife 
Also John Fayting 
and George Fayting J 

The family of Fayting, according to the Magna Britamiia^ was seated at 
Woodcote for "above five hundred years." Of this family was Nicholas Fayting, 
Mayor of Worcester in 1695. 

Jeremiah Clark 

B. M. late of Worcester 

departed this life March 11'.'? 

1809 aged 66 years. 

Clark was for many years conductor of the music meetings here and at 
Worcester. During his lifetime Bromsgrove was the focus of all the musical talent, 
both vocal and instrumental, for miles round the country. 

When the cholera visited the town, in 1S32, from which 18 persons died, 
the pleck of ground at the north-west corner of the churchyard was set apart for 
their burial. A tomb on this plot bears the following : — 

Beneath 

lies the body 

of 

Eliza Susanna Jacob 

The beloved wife of 

The Rev? Stephen Long Jacob 

Vicar of Woolavington-cum-Puriton 

in the County of Somerset. 

She died of Cholera 

at the house of her son The Rev. G. A. Jacob 

Head Master of the Grammar School of King Edward VL 

Bromsgrove 

August 10'.':' 1832 

aged 56 years. 



"The righteous hath hope in His death." 
The old worsted factory was used as an hospital, but no one died there. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. I05 

There are num;rous stones to the memory of the families of Corbin, Shenstonc, 
Wilkes, Clark, Chellingworth, and others; John Chellingworth died in 1708, at the 
age of 92. Amongst other names mentioned are the following : — 

DipPLE. — Mention is made in Domesday Book of a family of the name of 
Dipple residing at Bromsgrove, and as there are families of the same name still 
living here, in all probability they never became extinct ; they are therefore one of 
the oldest families in AN'orcestershire. 

Tilt. — Joseph Tilt is described as a " leather dresser." 

Knight. — William Knight, "butcher," died July 7th, 17S7. 

Sanders. — In the early part of the iSth century, an extensive bell foundry was 
carried on by Richard Sanders, on the site now known as the Foundry Yard. 
According to the dates found on various bells cast by him, he seems to have 
commenced business about 1703, and continued till about 1738, during which period 
he did a large trade, judging from the extent of his work. His most successful cast 
was the famous octa^•e of St. Helen's, at Worcester, distinguished as being a maiden 
peal, from the fact that none of them required any chipping or filing to give them 
the proper tone, and for their curious inscriptions in honour of Queen Anne and 
Marlborough's victories over the French. These eight bells were cast out of five 
previously existing ones, and are dated 1706 and 171 2. We also find bells from this 
foundry in the towers of various other churches in the county, including Dodderhill, 
Droitwich, Eckington, Oddingley, Upton Snodsbury, Hanbury, Wolverley, St. John 
and St. Nicholas, Worcester, and Norton, near Evesham. But his business was not 
confined to this county only, for his bells are to be found at Alveston, Salford Priors, 
Tanworth, and Wootton ■\^'awen, in Warwickshire, and at "\^'elford, in Gloucester- 
shire. The oldest bell the writer has met with bearing Sanders' mark is in the tower 
of Upton Snodsbury church, and dated 1703. None of the bells in Bromsgrove 
church appear to have been cast by him. 

Brooke. — Sanders seems to have been succeeded in the foundry business by 
William Brooke, for on the second bell at Upton \\'arren we read, " ^Villiam Brooke 
of Bromsgrove made me 1743." ^^'e also find the bells of the latter founder at 
Meriden and Shustokc, in Warwickshire. 

Saunders. — Some of the members of this lamily lived at " The Lodge, in 
Grafton Manor." 

The burials generally took place at the close of the afternoon service on 
Sundays, and u])on one occasion as many as 1 1 coffins of various sizes are known to 
have been placed in the middle of the church on forms, where they remained till the 
service in the church was concluded. 



Io6 P.RONrSGROVE CHURCH : 

In 1773, "The Parish Umbrella," for the use of the clergyman at funerals, was 
purchased for ^3. It was kept in the vestry. A box was made, and carried from 
"•rave to grave for the officiating minister to stand in to read the burial service. It 
was first used November 19th, 1806. 

The churchyard contained about 600 gravestones, tombs, and flat stones in 1778. 
— Lacy, MS. 

The two following inscriptions are mentioned by Nash as being in the church- 
yard, but they cannot now be found : — 

" In memory of the dead, 

From the year 1618 to 1739, lieth buried near to this 

stone, 19 bodies of the present family o' the Clancs o' 

Cateshill, and on the 15 '.I' of March '42, was interred 

Hannah the wife of William Chanes, gent., she was aged 

42 years and 5 months." 

On a flat stone : — 

"This stone is devoted 

by his friend T. Nash* 

to the memory of 

John Bagley Esq'''^ 

a native of the City of Worcester, 

and Lieutenant of the Militia of this County 

at its first formation. 

Of sense superior to vulgar feelings, 

he disclaims your pity and lamentations 

over his grave. 

Rejoice rather, benevolent reader, 

that a life of 63 years spent in serving 

to the utmost of his power 

his country, his friends, and mankind in general, 

v,-as terminated in this town, 

January 10'.'} 1784, 

by a dissolution as easy and happy 

as his days had been social, joyous, and innocent. 

Go thou and imitate him ! 

by abhorring to give pain, 

and studying to impart pleasure 

to thy friends and fellow creatures 

whether happy or distressed." 

* An in£;enioiis apothecary, of Bromsgiovc, 



Jia^ of 
il846.] 




fr " 111, .^(^ 



,_,SifcEa;'*sM»^;-, 




\/ 



^,.... 



Scale 1 chain to one inch. 



ITS HISTORY AXD ANTIQUITIES. I07 

The course of the paths have undergone numerous alterations. In 1705, "It is 
agreed that the churchwardens shall not be allowed anything for cutting the paths in 
the churchyard." Plate IX. is a plan of the churchyard in 1848; and at a parish 
meeting, held May 26th, "it was agreed that the paths marked A, should be 
stopped," and on April 9th, in the year following, "it was further agreed that the 
path marked B should be stopped up, and that that marked C should be opened in 
lieu thereof" There was also a path on the west side of the churchyard called the 
" Gentleman's Walk," on the other side of the lime trees to the present one. At the 
church restoration the ground and walks were lowered and soil removed. 

The Author cannot close his description of " God's acre " without expressing his 
feelings of regret at the manner in which the stones marking the last resting place of 
the dead have been disturbed from time to time, and of the daily mischief done in 
the churchyard, chiefly, he fears, by the children attending the National Schools. 

Surely, 

These tomljs and letter'd stones, 
which 

Unfold the age and name of those who once had life, 

ought to be respected, and steps taken to preserve them from mutilation by thought- 
less hands. Some years ago handbills were issued, offering a reward for information 
which should lead to the conviction of offenders in this respect, and it would be 
satisfactory to see the " Burial Board " take up the matter now, with a determination 
to put a stop to the evil. 



^^c ^atxoxxaQc of tC)e §Burc^. 



9SSBBSSS 




HERE was a church in Bromsgrove at the time of the compilation of the 
Domesday Book. Nash says : "The patronage of the church continued 
in the Crown till 16 Henry III., when that Prince conferred the church 
with all its appertinances on the Priory of Worcester,* ' for the salvation of his 

*Charta of King Henry 3rd, in the matter of the Church at Bremcsgr.ive. 

Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, 
Earl of Anjou, to Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Sherifts, 
Governors, Officers, and all Bailiffs, his liegemen, greeting ; — 

Know ye that we, in the face of God, and for the safety of our immortal soul, and for the soul 
of our Lord and Father, King John, and for the souls of all our Ancestors and heirs, have granted 
and given, and by this our Charter have conlirmcd, for us and our heirs for ever, to the Trior and 



to8 liROMSGROVE CHURCH ! 

soule, the soulo of his fotlicr King John, and the soulcs of his ancestors and 
successors,' on conchtion that the prior and monks should celebrate the anniversary 
of King John, and his own after his death. Hubert de Burgo, Earl of Kent, ^Valter 
de Beauchamp, Godfrey de Craucumb, and others were witnesses to this donation. 
It was confirmed by Pope Gregory 9th."t Habingdon says : " King Henry 3rd 
gave to y" Priory of Worcester, for his own soule and the soules of his father, 
ancestors and successors, the patronage of Bromesgrave, whereon attendeth the faire 
chappell of Kingsnorton, with other chappells, a parish containing soe many and soe 
great freeholders, as if it exceedeth not it equalleth the best in this shire." 

Monks of Worcester, the Church of Bromsgrove, with all that appertaineth thereunto, to be held 
and kept by them in free and perpetual alms, so that, so far as concerneth us and our heirs, they may 
hold the said Church for their own special purposes — solemnizing every year the anniversary of King 
John our father and of ours after our death, every year for ever. 

Wherefore we do firmly promise and desire, for ourself and for our heirs, that the aforesaid Prior 
and Monks, and their successors, may have and hold, for ever and ever, the aforementioned Church, 
well and in peace, freely and quietly, with all that appertaineth thereunto, and that they may hold 
the same for their special purposes — as far as concerneth us and our heirs, and for the solemnization of 
the anniversary of King John our Father, and of our anniversary after our death, every year for ever 
and ever, as aforesaid. 

Witness this, 

f He. de Burgo, Earl of Kent, our Justiciary 
Walter de Beauchamp 
Godfrey de Craucumb 
- John, son of Philip 
Galfrid Dispenser 
Galfrid de Cano 
Henry de Capella, &c., &c. 
Given under the hand of the Reverend Father Padolf, Bishop of Chichester, our Chancellor, at 
Worcester, the twenty-first day of May, in the sixteenth year of our Reign. ^ 

+ I, Gregory, Vicar of the Church of Christ on Earth, servant of the servants of God, to my beloved 

sons in the Lord the Prior and Members of the Church at Worcester, of the Order of St. 

Benedict, greeting and blessing in the name of the Lord. In as much as that which is sought of 

us is lawful and just, equity and justice demand that, by a due discharge of the duties of 

our office, it should be brought about. 

Wherefore beloved in the Lord, concurring in affectionate assent to your just requests. We 
confirm and by the present indenture validify to you and in you under the apostolic government of 
your Church, the patronage of the Church of Bromsgrove, which our much beloved son in Christ, 
the renowned King of England, Patron of the said Church (with the additional consent of William 
de Bleys, of blessed memory, our Bishop) has conceded, so that thereby ye may hold it lawfully and 
in peace. 

Therefore let no man infringe upon this our deed of ratification, or dare to contravene it, for if 
any man presume to attempt this, let it be known that he will, thereby incur the wrath of Almighty 
God and of his blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. 

Given at Orbitello, Tuscany, 26th day of April, 1237, in the eleventh year of our pontifical 
Reign. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 09 

To quote further from Nash : " Upon the death of William de Furnell,* the last 
rector, William de Bleys, Bishop of Worcester, confirmed the King's gift, and at the 
same time assigned the chapel at Grafton to the sacrist of the church of Worcester, 
-instead of 10 marks which the sacrist used to receive from the church at Bromsgrove 
for finding tapers to burn at the tomb of King John in Worcester Cathedral. The 
bishop reserved an annual payment of ten marks to the infirmary, and three marks 
towards the pittance on King John's anniversary ; and instituted a vicarage, to which 
he admitted Richard de Wynchcombf on the presentation of the Prior and Convent. 
The vicarage consisted of the whole alterage of the church at Bromsgrove, and 
chapel at King's Norton, the best mortuary, the tythe of hay growing at Bromsgrove 

* To all the Sons of Holy Mother Church ; who may hear or read this present writing, William of 
Bleys, by divine permission Bishop of Worcester, greeting ; — 

We wish it to be known unto ye all, that the living of Bromsgrove having been vacated by 
the death of W^illiam Furnell, formerly rector of the same, at the request of our master the King, 
who hath given over the patronage of the said Church to the Prior and Monks of Worcester, in pure 
and perpetual gift, for the safety of the soul of King John, of blessed memory his father, whose 
body lieth in the Church of Worcester. We give and confirm to the said Prior and Monks, for 
their peculiar uses to be held, the above mentioned Church of Worcester, and furthermore with the 
agreement of the said Prior and Monks we have assigned to the Sacrist of Worcester, the Chapel of 
Grafton, which is a chapel of the Church of Bromsgrove, in lieu often marks per annum, which sum 
should be paid to the said Sacrist from the aforementioned Church of Bromsgrove, for the purchase 
of tapers for the tomb of the said King John. 

Furthermore we assign ten marks to the Infirmary of Worcester, to be received yearly from the 
said Church ; and three marks to be used for a pittance on the day of the anniversary of the said 
King John. The whole of the residue we assign to the support of strangers and paupers applying to 
the above infirmary, excepting the perpetual vicarage which we institute in the said Church, with 
the assent of the aforesaid Priors and Monks. Save also to us and to our successors in the said 
Church lioth Pontificial and Parochial authority. 

In proof of the contents of the present writing wc confirm Ihem by the aftixing of our Seal 
in {)resence of these witnesses- 
Master Matt, de Grimell 

William de Tynton, gent., of Remcsey 

W. de Thy\\e 

R. de Buckingham 

Master W^ de ^lyll, gent., of Bredon 

J., Vicar of Hampton, of the monastery of Anketil 

Richard de Compton 

Gilbert Lyndes 

[Clergy and others.] 

tTo all Sons of Mother Church to whom this Indenture cometh, William de Bleys, by di\inc 

permission Bishop of Worcester, greeting in the name of the Lord, — 

Be it known unto all of you, that on the presentation of Richard do Wynchcoml) by Our lielovcd 
Sons in Christ, with Prior and Monks of Worcester, we have admitted the chaplaincy and perpetual 
Vicarage of the Church of Bromsgrove to the aforesaid Richard de Wynchcomb. 

The said Vicarage consisteth in all the alterage of the aforementioned Church of Bromsgrove and 
of the Chapel of Norton, with the principal Mortuary, and with tenths of hay growing within the 
precincts of Bronisqrnye only, and willi a certain house at Bromsgrove, and another at Norton, 



no BROMSr.MOVF, CHURCH: 

only, a house at Bromsgrovc, and another at King's Norton. In 1380, Richard 
Tewe, the vicar, sued for the tythcs of hay arising from the meadows and other 
places in Bromsgrove and its villages, and the tythes of pasture and hay appertaining 
to the chapel at King's Norton. His claim was disallowed by John Blanchard, 
Archdeacon of Worcester, Robert de la More, LL.D., John Malvern, precentor, and 
Thomas Lench de Wych, proctor of the Consistorial Court, to whom the controversy 
was referred. May 3rd, 1380. Their sentence was confirmed by the bishop, August 
17th following, AValter de Cooksey and others being witnesses. It should seem that 
this determination only affected the tythe hay of King's Norton, the tythe hay of 
Bromsgrove being granted by the original endowment, and has ever since been paid. 
Robert de Belne, Vicar of Bromsgrove, for the benefit of himself and his successors, 
exchanged with the Prior and Convent, his patrons, the place of habitation where his 
predecessor Henry dwelt, extending in length from the High Street, Bromsgrove, to 
the entrance to the churchyard on the east, and to a path which leads from the said 
High Street to the gate of the Prior and Convent's court, and in breadth from 
the High Street to a water-course called Spadesborne on the west, for a messuage 
which Nicholas de Prestford held of the Prior, with a portion of land which was 
part of the Prior's garden, extending in length from the said garden, near the 
churchyard, to the said path which comes from the High Street, on the upper part, 
and on the lower part near the fish pool, and in part near the water-course of 
Spadesborne. Godfrey Gifford confirmed this exchange by his deed, dated at 
Alvechurch, on the day of St. Valentine the INIartyr, 1292." 

The house first alluded to, occupied the site of that in which Mrs. Davenport 
now lives. It is not probable that much, if any, of the old house remains, although 
some of the old stonework of the cellar certainly indicates the existence of a house 
prior to the present one. This house was exchanged for the present vicarage 
grounds. The fish pool referred to in the deed was a sheet of water in the Crown 

In acknowledgment of these presents the aforesaid Vicar shall perform all proper and customary 
duties in the aforementioned Church. 

And that this our admittance and canonical precept may continue in due force for ever, save to us 
and to our successors pontifical and parochial authority. We confirm the above writing in all its 
contents by the affixing of our seal. 

As witness, 

Galfrid, Canon 
Richard, Monk 
W., Archdeacon of Worcester 
■ Matthew Grimell 
William de Tewe 
Robert de Buckingham 
Masters, Richard Compton, Gilbert Lyndens 

[The Clergy and others.] 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. Ill 

Close, from which the ecclesiastics residing in Holy Lane obtained their supply 
of fish. The pool was in existence, though of much smaller extent, till about 
the year 1836. 

■ Holy Lane retained its name till October, 1852, when, by order of the 
Bromsgrove Local Board, the streets were renamed, and it obtained its present 
a})pellation of Church Street. 

"In the 1 2th year of Edward H. reign an enquiry was made whether the Prior 
of Worcester held anything in Bromsgrove which was not in frank almoin ; and 
it was found that he held 6 ox gangs of land and certain tenements of the glebe and 
endowment of his church time out of mind, and therefore not subject to tallage. 
A manor in Bromsgrove belongs to the parsonage. A court baron was formerly held 
by the Prior and Convent. The tenant of their manor was bound to receive the 
cellarist and steward of the priory during the court keeping at his own charges. The 
Prior and Convent granted a lease of the parsonage and its premises to John Greene, 
5 Ed. IV., for 20 years, by which the tenant was obliged to entertain the cellarist, the 
cook, and the steward, with their servants, twice in a year, at the times of holding 
the court, and to provide food for their horses. The Dean and Chapter are now 
lords of the manor." — Nash's " Worcestershire." 

The Manor House belonging to the Rectory Manor is situated on the west side 
of High Street, and till recently was occupied by Mr. Joseph Milton. It is a stone 
building, and was held in lease by Lord ^^Tndsor from the Dean and Chapter of 
Worcester, but the lease has now expired. Lacy, writing in 1778, in his MS., says : 
" The Rectory Manor has a court held twice a year, pays a yearly chief rent, but at 
death it pays no heriot. The Rectory Manor was formerly part of Feckenham 
Forest, and is now parcel of the Manor of Bromsgrove; was granted, some time 
before the Reformation, to St. Mary's Monastery at Worcester, in which church it 
still continues, and is leased, together witli the rectorial tythcs, to the present Earl of 
Plymouth, who also rents the glebe lands under the said church." 

The old rent of the parsonage of Bromsgrove was ^26 i)er annum, to be 
paid to the coquinarius (cook, or purveyor of food) ; all escheats and fines 
were reserved to the cellarist. In the Parliamentary survey, taken 1649, '^^ is 
said to have been worth ;^i25 i6s. 8d. more than the rent. According to 
Nash, the rectorial tithes were purchased by Other Windsor, Earl of Plymouth, 
about the year 1768, of the heirs of James Cocks, being a lease for 21 years, 
renewable under the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The last lease exjjircd 
at Michaelmas, 1879, and the tithes are now collected by the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners. 

On the site of the present sheep market, and only a short distance from the 
church and vicarage, stood the I'ithe Barn, a sketch of which a])pcared in " The 



112 



r,ROMSGROVE CHURCH : 



Mirror" of Saturday, December T3th, 1834, and of ^Yhich our engraving is a 
facsimile^ accompanied by the following remarks : — 

" I send you a sketch of the Tithe Barn, now standing in the fields at the 
extremity of Holy Lane, in the parish of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire ; in which the 
celebrated Mrs. Siddons, when Miss Kemble, and a member of her father's company 
of comedians, formerly performed. I am informed by a gentleman, a native and 
resident of Bromsgrove, that he witnessed her appearance in the above barn, about 
the year 1765 or 6, in a play entitled 'Charles the First,' in which she represented 
the character of a young princess ; and my informant also Avitnessed there her 
performance of Ariel^ in ' The Tempest,' and her singing between the acts of 
the play. 

" From the circumstance of its being well known by many of the inhaljitants 
of the town of Bromsgrove, that the barn was formerly made use of by the Kemble 
family for the above-named purpose, I am induced to send you this sketch. The 
barn is now in so dilapidated a condition, that the proprietor will shortly take 
it down. " John F. Bowden. 




[" We thank our Correspondent for this humble, yet interesting, memorial of 
genius, as well as for his congratulations and good wishes. The date, supplied by his 
informant, of Miss Kemble's performance in this barn, must be that of one of her 
earliest appearances, if not her first appearance, on the stage. We regret that 
Mr. Campbell, in his ' Life of Mrs. Siddons,' lately published, does not enable us to 
settle the point, but rather adds to our doubt by a kind of information which is 
characteristic of his work, and which is little better than no information at all. Such 
as it is, we quote all that the poetical biographer supplies :] 

" I am unable to state the exact date of Mrs. Siddons's first appearance on 
the stage, but it must have been very early ; for the company w\as offended at 
her appearance of childhood, and was for some time shaken with uproar, The timid 



ITS HlSlOKY AND ANTKJUniKS. I 13 

ddud.iiite was about to retire, when her mother, with characteristic decision, led her 
to the front of the stage, and made her repeat the fable of the ' Boys and the Frogs,' 
which not only appeased the audience, but produced thunders of applause. At 
thirteen, she was the heroine in several English operas, and sang very tolerably. In 
the ' History of Worcester,' there is found the copy of a play-bill, dated February 
i2th, 1767, in which Mr. Roger Kemble announces his company of comedians, 
as playing at the King's Head, in that city ; with a concert of music. The play was 
' Charles the First,' by an actor named Havard, indifferently written, and from its 
subject ill calculated for the universal sympathy of a British audience. The 
characters were thus cast : /a/ncs, Duke of Richmond^ by Mr. Siddons, who was now 
an actor in Kemble's comi)any ; fairies, Duke of York, by Master John Kemble, who 
was then about twelve years old. T/te Yon/ig Prineess, by Miss Kemble, then 
approaching to fourteen ; Lady Fairfax, by Mrs. Kemble. Singing between the 
acts, by Mr. Fowler and Miss Kemble. In the April following. Master John Kemble 
is announced rfs Philidel, in ' King Arthur,' and Miss Kemble as Ariel, in ' The 
Tempest.' " 

The barn was sold by public auction, on May 7th, 1844, for ^29 los. 6d., and 
was shortly afterwards pulled down and cleared away. 

"In an original valor of this diocese, at the First Fruits Office, dated 26 Henry 
VIII., signed by Bishop Latimer, we read : ' Cantaria beatae Mariae in Bromsgrove, 
valet per annum p^ 6 6s. 8d.' " — Nask. 

The living of Christ Church, Catshill, valued at ^300 j)er annum, with residence, 
is in the gift of the Vicar of Bromsgrove. The church, which consists of nave, 
chancel, and north and south aisles, and tower at the west end, was erected in 1838, 
at a cost of ^^1500. The present vicar is Rev. James Kidd, A.K.C., instituted 
in 1868. 

The living of Holy Trinity Church, The Lickey, is also in the gift of the vicar of 
Bromsgrove. It is valued at ^{^300 a year, with residence. Rev. John Goodwin, 
M.A., formerly curate of Bromsgrove, is incumbent. The church is built of stone, 
in the Early English style, having a chancel, nave, aisles, and bell lut with two bells ; 
it was consecrated on June 5th, 1856, and cost about ;^25oo. 

The living of the new church of All Saints, valued at ^300 per annum, witli 
residence, is in the i)resentation of the Vicar of Bromsgrove. This church, built 
from designs of Mr. John Cotton, architect, of Temple Row, Birmingham, was 
opened August 6th, 1874. The present vicar is the Hon. and Rev. A. H. T. 
Massey, M.A. 

In December, 1879, the li\ings of these churches were each raised to f^.^'^o per 
year by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. At the same time an additional ^120 
per annum was granted to All Saints for curate's stipend. 



114 liROIMSGROVE CHURCH: 

There were formerly five other c]iai)els dependent on tlie church of Bromsgrove, 
to eacli of wliich a curate was appointed by the vicar. 

The living of King's Norton was in the gift of the Vicar of Bromsgrove till 1846, 
when it was made a separate incumbency on the death of the late Bishoj) of 
Rochester, who was Dean of '\^'orcester and Vicar of Bromsgrove. The stipend was 
then increased, and the Dean and Chapter of Worcester retained the disposal of it 
themselves. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a large and handsome 
structure, with chancel, nave, aisles, and western tower and spire. 

Moseley was a chapelry to King's Norton till 1853, when it had a district assigned 
to it. The church is a commodious structure, of stone and brick, with a square 
tower and three bells. It was repaired and enlarged in 1823, at a cost of nearly 
;!^2ooo. It has 557 sittings, of which 169 are free and unappropriated. The living 
is a vicarage, value _;^2 2 9, with residence, in the patronage of the Vicar of 
Bromsgrove, and held by the Rev. W. H. Colmore, M.A., formerly senior curate of 
Bromsgrove. 

Withall, formerly a chapel to King's Norton, was formed into an ecclesiastical 
district in 1853. It is now an independent vicarage, for which a new church, 
designed by Mr. Preedy, and superseding a small brick structure erected in the last 
century, was erected in 1861 ; it includes the outlying portions of King's Norton, 
Alvechurch, and Solihull parishes. The church is built of brick, with bands of 
Bromsgrove stone. Bath stone is also used, for dressings and carved work, of which 
there is a considerable quantity, by Earp. It has north and south aisles, tower, 
forming the ritual chancel, with a sanctuary projecting about 20 feet beyond, and 352 
sittings. The east window is of stained glass, representing the Virgin Mary, and 
presented by Mrs. Mynors and Robert Mynors, Esq. Two stained glass windows 
have been recently added ; one by Mr. Richard Burman, of Houndsfield, and the 
other by the children of the late James Johnstone, Esq., M.D. The living is in the 
diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester, and rural deanery of Northiield ; value, 
^^150, with residence, and 35 acres of glebe ; patron, the Vicar of King's Norton. 

The chapel at Chadwich, dedicated to St. Chad, is destroyed, and no trace of it 
is novN- left. The site is believed to have been on the north side of the Manor 
House, in a small pleck, now planted as an orchard, in a manor belonging to 
the Dean and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford, but now leased to Mr. Francis 
Tongue Rufford. It is said that they ought to keep the chapel in repair, and find a 
minister to officiate in it, but of this there is no evidence. Dr. Nash says : " Service 
has not been performed in this chapel, nor has it been fit for service, within memory." 
About 1410, the Master of St. Wulstan's Hospital, Worcester, disputed with the 
Prior and Convent, at Worcester, " as to the duty of finding a priest to officiate 
in the chapel of Chaddeswick, where the hospital held lands belonging to the Prior 



ITS HISTORY ANO ANHgUlTlES, <!5 

and Convent. The right of the hospital to nominate was allowed, but the incumbent 
was to be presented to the Prior and Convent, and a certain arrangement made as to 
his pay. This controversy lasted a long time." Lacy, referring to Chadwich yield, 
says : " Here is also a chapel-of-ease belonging to Bromsgrove church, but it is very 
ruinous ; it is about five miles to the north of Bromsgrove. Chadwich is parcel 
of tlie Rectory Manor, it paying a chief rent to it." And in another place the 
same writer says : " At Chadwich, or Chadisick, is a chapel-of-ease, belonging to 
Bromsgrove church (said to be dedicated to St. Chad) ; it is now in a ruinous 
condition, and used by the tenant of the farm on whiclr it stands as a lumber room ; 
it is close to the mansion house at Chadwich." 

The inhabitants of Chadwich have the right of burial at Bromsgrove. 

There is no church at Grafton Manor, but there is a chapel adjoining the manor 
house, used, until a few years ago, as a Roman Catholic place of worship. The 
Rev. Henry Campbell, who died February 25th, 1874, at the age of 91 years, was 
the last resident priest, having lived at Grafton upwards of 60 years. In the reign of 
Edward I., a dispute arose between John de Grafton and the Prior of Worcester, 
relating to the advowson of the chapel of Grafton, when the former resigned his 
claim upon the payment of 35 marks by the priory of Worcester.* John de 
Grafton gave to God, the Blessed Virgin, and the chapel of St. Michael de Grafton, 
a messuage and lands near the king's highway, between the house of Robert Broke 
and the house of John Sirloc, which lands were 120 feet in length and 76 feet in 
breadth. The manor of Grafton was formerly a chapelry belonging to Bromsgrove, 
till the reign of Henry HI., when an arrangement was made between the Prior 
and Convent of '\\'orcester and Bishop AA'illiam de Bloys, by which it was made over 
to the former, and has since become independent of Bromsgrove. There is a small 
burial ground adjoining the chapel, but no service is now held. 

The inhabitants of Grafton bury at Bromsgrove, Upton AA'arren, and Stoke Prior. 

* JdIiii of (Jvafton brought a suit, at the last presentation in tlie county, Ijefore four appointed 
officers, against William de Furnell, in the matter of the chapel of Grafton ; and William, in 
replying, states that he is a cleryman at Bromsgrove, and that the said chapel belongs to his 
church of Bromsgrove, and has been in seizin 40 years elapsed ; and he furthermore states that 
there was an agreement entered into formerly between himself and John, who has lately died, a 
farmer ; in consequence of which he had regained possession of the chapel, as belonging to his 
church at Bromsgrove, and that afterv.ards he let it to him as a farm for half a mark and one load of 
corn. And he also affirms that the said John died a farmer, not a clergyman ; and after the death of 
the said John he took the chapel into his own possession, and that, as such, he had reclaimed it. 
And John, being asked what action he had taken during the continuance of the agreement, answered 
— Nothing. And seeing that the said William has been thence in seizin for so long a time, on 
account of his church at Bromsgrove, which he holds as a gift from the King, it is henceforth to 
remain in his seizin ; and John may make appeal to the King if he wish. And the Bishop of 
Worcester is also charged to allow the said William de Furnell to hold in peaceful pu.-scssion the 
said chapel, in face of all claims of the said John. 



Il6 BROIMSGROVl': CHURCH: 

In Dr. Thomas's "Antiquities of Worcester" is the following: "On the and 
of the Nones of June, Godfrey Gifford, ordained at 15romesgrovc, and, as the 
Worcester annals say, forgetful of tlie Peace made between Him and his Convent, he 
would not suffer the Chantor to execute his office. And say further, That on the 
3rd of the Nones of August, he extorted from them the Chapel of Grafton, and 
appropriated it to the use of the Sacrist, without making them any allowance for the 
Expense they had been at in recovering the same in the King's Courts, which 
amounted to no less than;2£'2oo, having been seven years in law." 

The chapel was nearly destroyed by fire in 17 10, and it lay in ruins till 1809, 
when it was restored at the expense of the Earl of Shrewsbury. For several years, 
between 1740 and 1750, the Roman Catholics of the town and neighbourhood met 
in secresy in the attic of the old farm house at Whitford, to celebrate divine worship 
according to the rites of their own Church. In 1796, Andrew Robinson, clerk, 
of Grafton Manor, set apart a room for Roman Catholic worship, and Charles 
Weetman, born in Staffordshire in 1781, took upon himself the G?'aftoii mission, 
and, dying in Worcester in 1813, was buried at St. Oswald's, in that city. 

There was an agreement entered into between the Prior of Dodford and the 
Vicar of Bromsgrove, in respect of burials at Dodford, as follows : — 

" To all good true Christians to whom this present indenture may come, brother 
Gwido, Prior of the Monastery of Dodford of the order of St. Augustine, and of the 
convent of that place, greeting in the name of the Lord. By the present we make it 
known to all of you that our monastery aforesaid being within the limits of the 
Parish Church of Bromsgrove situate and founded in the diocese of Worcester, each 
and every one of our lay servants who has not taken the vow aforementioned and all 
others in attendance or service upon us, now dwelling, or such as in future may 
dwell ; within the confines of our monastery, aforesaid, and in all other places 
belonging to us within the limits of the parish of the abovementioned church \ are 
fully entitled with other parishioners of the Parish Church of Bromsgrove while 
living ; to enjoy the benefit of all religious rites of the Church ; and when dead 
to be buried there with all due rites and solemnities, W^e the abovementioned Prior 
and Monks of the aforesaid places do hereby declare for ourselves and our successors 
who shall come hereafter, that we have never exacted, claimed, held or limited, in 
any way, nor on the other hand do we wish to exact, claim, hold or limit, anything 
affecting the rites and ceremonies of the aforementioned church in any way to 
the prejudice of Master P.obert de la Felde vicar of 'the aforesaid parish church, 
of his successors vicars of the said church or of the church itself or of its vicarage, 
or of the rights and appurtenances of the above whatsoever, upon any occasion 
either by power or privilege obtained ; or hereafter to be obtained by us. Save and 
except to ourselves the burial of such as freely and willingly in their last will may 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. II7 

have bequeathed, and of such as in future shall bequeath their bodies to be buried in 
the monastery in canonical form. Save and except to the aforesaid parish church all 
privileges in the matter of rites and ceremonies appertaining to the same." — 
Translated from N'as/i. 

The patronage of the living of Bromsgrove is vested in the Dean and Chapter of 
Worcester. In the taxation of 1291, the church and its two chapels (Grafton and 
King's Norton), are together valued at ^33 6s. 8d. yearly. Fifty years later (1341)) 
they are set down at £^i 6s. 8d. In 1536, the valuation of the mother church and 
its chapels are kept separate. The smaller tithes, &c., belonging to the vicarage are 
returned at £21 8s., as against ;^2o at King's Norton. In 1695, Bromsgrove, with 
the chapel of King's Norton, is returned at £^1 8s. The tithes were commuted at 
;i^iioo 15s., to which may be added an excellent vicarage house, fees, and a small 
allotment of land. In the "Worcester Diocesan Church Calendar" (1879), ^^^ "ett 
value'"' of the living is returned at ^800. 

Bromsgrove is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester, and rural deanery 
of Wycli. 




%bc Wicax^ of ^Jrom^grox^c. 

ASH, in his history of the county, gives the following list of the Patrons 

and Vicars of Bromsgrove, with the dates at which they were admitted 
to the living, from 1309 to 1778: — 
Patron. Admitted. 

Prior and Convent Henry de la Lee March 19th, 1309. 

of Worcester. Robert de la Felde, Presbyter ... Sept. 9th, 13 16. 

Richard de Kingswood, Presbyter ... April 8th, 1320. 

John de Battisford, Chapter August 2nd, 132 1. 

William de Hampton, Presbyter ... May 22nd, 1335. 

Phillip le Younge — — ■ i34o- 

Edward Brugge Oct. 6th, 1357. 

* Tlie ncU value shows the amount received by the incumbent after deduction of poor rates, land 
tax, tenths, and syaodals. The incumbent must pay out of nett vahic all other charges, such as 
expenses of collections, curates' stipends, payment on account of mortgage to Queen Anne's Bounty, 
&c. The Vicar of Bromsgrove has to contribute £-JS P<^'>' 'i"ii""i to the living of Catshill, and £^0 
to tile Lickey. 



ii8 

Patron. 

Prior and Convent 

of Worcester. 



Dean and Chapter 
of Worcester. 



BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

John dc Oxon* 
John de Merston 

Richard atte Lake de Tewe 

Richard Green, Presbyter 

Nicholas Hambury, Presbyter 

\\'iUiam Spooner, Presbyter 

John Potter, Chapter 

Thomas Chase, Professor of Divinity . . . 
John Grene, Chapter ... 
Thomas Feysy ... 

Richard Manning 

Reginald Newton 

Christopher Goldsmith, Chapter 

Peter Wever, Presbyter, A.M 

Robert Notingham, A.M 

Thomas Hearle, A.M. 

Gervase Carrington, LL.B 

John Archbould, Professor of Divinity 

John Hall, A.M 

John WoUey, Clerk 



Admitted. 
Oct. 8th, 1357. 

Oct. 2ISt, I361. 

March 3rd, 1370. 
Sept. 19th, 1 39 1. 
Oct. 13th, 1406. 
May 31st, 1408. 
Dec. i6th, 1409. 
March nth, 142 1. 
Sept. 15th, 1424. 
Nov. 4th, 1445. 
Sept. 28th, 1446. 
Feb. 4th, 1446. 
July 31st, 1475. 
April loth, 1557. 
Oct. 13th, 1561. 
Sept. 23rd, 1581. 
April 4th, 1590. 
May 4th, 1 6 13. 
June 6th, 1624. 
August 20th, 1660. 



Charles II. 

Dean and Chapter j. -[^^oj^^^^g Warmstry, Professor of Divinity Sept. 20th, 1662 
of Worcester. ' 

Bishop of Worcester, 

Dean and Chapter 



i 



George Glen, Clerk, A.M. 
Thomas Wilmott,t Clerk, A.M. 
of Worcester. Thomas Wilmott, Clerk, A.M. 

William Phillips, B.A 

John Waugh, B.A.^ 

Thomas Evans, D.D.j 



Oct. 26th, 1666. 
Nov. 22nd, 1669. 
Jan. 26th, 1699. 
Nov. 27th, 1 741. 
June 9th, 1754. 
Jan. 6th, 1778. 



* Both Brugge and Oxon claimed the vicarage ; and in the meantime, Henry de Raggele, by the 
power of the Apostolic See, olHained possession of it ; but afterwards John de Oxon was admitted, 
May 23rd, 1359. 

t In the year 1669, Thomas Willmot, Vicar of Bromsgrove, laid an information at the sessions to 
the effect that, "being ready to attend his duty at the funeral of Jane, the wife of John Eckols, was 
by a tumult of Anti-Baptists affronted and disturbed whilst I was reading the service. They no 
sooner came to the grave but irreverently threw the corpse thereinto, and, having their hats on their 
heads, immediately, contrary to the orders of the Church, without the least respect to the service of 
the same, and without either clerk or sexton, with their feete caste in the mold and covered the 
corpse. Amongst which tumult there was one Henry Waldron, who, entring into the belman's 
house, without his leave, took away his spade, wherewith John Price, contrary to all civility and 
decency, notwithstanding he was checked by the minister, with his head covered, persisted to throwe 
the mold in the aforesaid grave." — Noakc. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



H9 



Dean and Chapter 
of Worcester. 



The Author is indebted to John H. Hooper, Esq., M.A., one of the secretaries 
to the Bishop of Worcester, for the completion of the list to the present time, 
as follows : — 

Patron. Admitted. 

May 5th, 1786. 

October 2nd, 1788. 

Oct. 31st, 1815. 

June ist, 1826. 

April 26th, 1827. 

July 20th, 1846. 

April 3rd, 1 86 1. 



The Hon. St. Andrew St. John, D.D.§. 

Thomas Fountaine, M.A. 

John Wingfield, D.D. ... 

James Hook, LL.D.j ... 

George Murray, Bishop of Rochester! . 

William Villers, M.A. ... 

George William Murray, M.A. 
Mr. Villers preached his first sermon in Bromsgrove church August 9th, 1846. — 
" Bromsgrove Almanack." 

For more than 70 years Bromsgrove was without a resident vicar, during which 
time various curates in charge were appointed, and amongst others — Rev. Mr. Cottam, 
Rev. Mr. ^\Tnpenny, Rev. J. N. Harward, and Rev. T. B. G. Moore, M.A., to whom 
a testimonial was presented in 1846 by the inhabitants ; a massive service of plate 
was also presented to Mr. Harward when he resigned his curacy in 1838, for a livino- 
in Kent. The children and teachers belonging to the Sunday Schools also presented 
the rev. gentleman with a costly pocket communion service. 

On July 27th, 1 68 1, John Bowater was committed to Worcester gaol, at the suit 
of Thomas "\\'ilmot, priest, of Bromsgrove, for non-payment of small tithes, and 
removed to the Fleet Prison, and while there a heifer vrorth j£\ los., belont^ino- 
to him, was taken. 

The Vicar's Fees, as taken from an old MS., were — £ s. d. 

Christening 
Churching 



Wedding by Banns 

Wedding by Licence 

Burials ... 

Easter " Dews " for single persons 

For the " Carding " 

Clerk's Fees. 

Registering Christenings 
For examining the Register 
Weddings by Licence ... 
do. by Banns 



Deans of Worcester. 



§ Archdeacon of Worcester. 



I20 



HROMSGROVE CHURCH : 



For Burials 

Easter " Dews " for House Dwellers 

Sexton'' s Fees. 

For Making a grave (churchyard) 

For Ringing the Bell 

For Burying a still Born Child 

For " Briering " a Grave 

For Moving a stone in the Churchyard 

,, „ Church or Chancel 

For Making a grave in the Church or Chancel 
Ringing the Bell twelve hours ... 
Ringing the four and Eight o'clock Bell per year 

The Author has met with the following printed copies of sermons preached in 
Bromsgrove church : — 

Talbot's (W., Dean of Worcester) Sermon, Preach'd in the Parish-Church of 
Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, May ist, 1695, upon occasion of a Charity given to 
that Place, by Sir Thomas Cookes of Bentley, Kt. Bar. 

J. Porter, of Aulcester. A Caution against Youthful Lusts, in two discourses, 
occasion'd by the Death of Mr. Thomas Webb, who departed this life July iSth, 
1708, and requested upon his death bed that Youth might be warn'd to avoid those 
Lusts that he had found more bitter than Death. Preached at Bromsgrove in 
Worcestershire, and published at the Desire of the Youth that heard it.* 

Tyndal's Funeral Sermon at Broomsgrove, on Mr. John Spilsbury, 1769. 
Birmingham : Baskerville. 

Humphreys, J. — Sermon at Bromsgrove, on the death of Mr. Benj. Humphreys. 
April 19th, 1789. 

Hooper, Rev. Francis J. B., Rector of Upton Warren.— Sermon, preached 
at Bromsgrove, May 22nd, 1844, on "The Old and New Dispensations, contrasted." 



* The preacher was a native of Bromsgrove, but there is nothing in the book to prove that the 
sermon was actually preached in the clnirch. It was sold by John Halford, at the Hand and Pen, in 
Bromsgrove. Halford appears to have been a schoolmaster, for at the end of the book this curious 
"advertisement" appears : — 

Writing, in all the Hands of Gnat Britain ; Arithmetick, Vulgar and Decimal, by Logarithms, 
and Algebraical ; also Instrumental, i.e., by Gunto's Line with Compasses, or by Sliding-Rules ; 
with their Uses in Book-keeping, after the most plain, practical, and Italian manner. Measuring of 
Board, Glass, Tiling, Paving, Timber, Stone, and irregular Solids. 

As also Geometry, Planometry, Stereometry, Gauging, Trigonometry, Dialing, Navigation, and 
other useful parts of the Matheinaticks. Together with the Art of Writing most sorts of Characters, 
or Shorthand. 

Likewise the art of Spelling and Reading True English, &c. ; 

Are all Taught by John Halford, at the Hand and Pen, in Broi/isgrove, and YOUTH Boarded. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 121 

jACor, Rev. G. A., D.D. — Sermon on Thursday, March 31st, 1853, being the 
Tercentenary of the Foundation of the Grammar School of King Edward Sixth. 
" Connection between True Religion and Sound Learning." 

CoLLis, Rev. J. D. (Bromsgrove). — Sermon preached on Sunday, January 30th, 
1859, being the first Sunday after the reopening of the church. 

Murray, Rev. G. W., Vicar of Bromsgrove. — Sermon on Sunday, July 4th, 

1869. " Changes in the Services of the Church," &c. 

Murray, Rev. G. W., Vicar of Bromsgrove. — Sermon on Sunday, January i6th, 

1870, on "Almsgiving : Its Mode, Motive, and Measure." 

Blore, Rev. G. J. — A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St. John the 
Baptist, Bromsgrove, on Sunday, July 6th, 1873. " Prosperity to Bromsgrove." 




jT appears impossible to trace the various holders of the offices of clerk 
and sexton to any considerable period. The first notice found in the 
books of the parish is in 1684, when it was "Agreed that the Minister's 
Clerk and belman," who, according to ancient custom, was sexton, was to " walk the 
church and dig the graves and ring the bells, and to have 2'/2''- for the Burial 
and Registering of any one that has pay from the parish." At this time Edward 
Carter was clerk. In 1703, Thomas Hemming was sexton. 

On May 6th, 1753, "It is agreed that John Hill shall come into the house 
(? what house), and that he shall walk the church and wind up the church clock and 
chimes as sexfou." 

On August 2nd, 1772, at a vestry meeting, it was agreed to appoint William Rose 
sexton of the parish, in the room of William Southall, deceased. 

Judging from these dates, it would appear that William was the ^rsf of the Rose 
family who have, in unbroken succession, supplied the parish with sextons ever since, 
and with clerk's latterly. The Author has thought well to give all the information in 
his possession with reference to the connection of this family with the duties of 
sexton and clerk, as there is something pleasing in the succession of attachments to 
offices of the church. 

William Rose held the office of sexton for 18 years. He died July 14th, 1789, 
at the age of 75, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who was sexton for 35 



133 UKOMSGUOVE CHUHCH S 

years. The api^ointinent of tlie latter look place July iqIIi, 17S9, according to the 
following extracts : — 

"At a vestry meeting this day held we the undersigned inhabitants of this parish 
do appoint Thomas Rose in the Room of his Father, AVilliam Rose, deceased. And 
it is ordered and agreed that from and after the death of the ])arish clerk of this 
parish, or his quitting such office, the percjuisites of Ringing the Bells for funerals 
shall belong to the sexton. 

John Ashmore 



Jas. Hall 
Chas. Wright 
Isaac Badger 



Churchwardens. 



Inhabitants. 
J. Sheffield William Brooke 

Wm. Greaves Jno. Taylor 

Oliver Williams Richd. AVilkes 

Thomas Wilkinson Josh. Connard 

Richard CoUett Jos. Brettle 

" If the Church Wardens of the Parish, with the Consent of the Majority of the 
Inhabitants paying Scot and Lot, have appointed Thomas Rose Sexton of this 
Parish, his office or employment then is, to look after the Body of the Church, />., 
to keep the seats, Sec, clean, to ring the 5 and 8 o'clock Bell, to look after the Bell 
Ropes, to dig the Graves, and ring the funeral Bell, as also to take care that the 
sacramental wine is always ready and suff' 

" The Churchwardens pay him for ringing the 8 and 5 o'clock Bell, as also 
Parishioners pay for digging the graves and ringing the funeral Bell or Bells. 
"Bromsgrove, i8'h Aug^t 1789." " Cha'^' Harris. 

There is in the possession of the family the following account of the duties and 
remuneration of the office, as held by Thomas Rose : — 

"To AVind up the Church Clock and Chimes I have 5 Locks to unlock and lock 
every morning, which makes 1825 times in the year ; I have 47 Stairs to walk 
up, which makes 17 155 Stairs in the year ; I have 7 cwt. to wind up every morning, 
which makes 2555 cwt., or 127 tons 15 cwt. 

" The number of Yards I have to wind the weights up every morning is 30, and 
that total is 10950 or 6 miles and 390 yards ; my Salary for that is ;^3 12s. od., and 
divide that into 365 parts makes 2}^'^- and ]/3'"^ of a farthing each time. 

" I have 625 different times to Ring a Bell in the year, and to walk up 28 Stairs 
each time, which makes 17500 yearly; for that I receive ^2 i6s. od., and divide 
that into 625 parts, it makes I'^-iV' each time. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 23 

"Then to add 365 times to the 625 for the Morning Bell, would make 990 times 
yearly. I should then have to walk up 28 Stairs each time, which would make 
27720 stairs yearly, and would reduce the ^2 i6s. od. in proportion to y^^- and 
^"'^ of a farthing nearly for each time. 
"Sweeping the Steps £^1 6s. od. 

"Winding the Town Hall Clock up jQx 6s. od. On Sundays for attending the 
services of the Church ;^2 os. od. There is 104 services, and 4^'^- for each service 
would be i^- '2''- in the year more than my salary ; and then 

" I don't take into account Christmas day. Good Friday, Wit Monday and 
Thursday, and May day. 

" Five Stoves, Gas, Cleaning Glasses. 

"June 6th, 1842, Reference to the Churchwardens' order book. 
" Mending Ropes. 

"Thomas Rose Elected Sexton, July 19th, 1789." 

The latter part of this account cannot refer to Thomas Rose, who died January 
nth, 1824, aged 73 years. 

Shortly after his death the following notice was issued : — 

" The Churchwardens request the inhabitants whom it concerns to give them the 
meeting in the vestry, on Thursday next, at two o'clock in the afternoon, to appoint 
a Sexton to succeed the late Thomas Rose, deceased. 
"Sunday y^ 18 January 1824." 

There being more than one candidate for the office, the election took place 
by poll — 

For John White, For Joseph Rose, 

149- 152. 

Joseph Rose was accordingly elected. 

White was town bellman, and was succeeded in that office by Thomas Edwards. 
On June 25th, 1842, "The Sexton's Salary was made ^11 iis., because los. 6d. 
was taken from him for attending Parish Meetings." 

During his term of office, an adjourned vestry meeting was held July 17th, 1846, 
at which it was moved by Mr. Day, and seconded by Mr. AVildsmith, and resolved 
unanimously, "That the following shall be the duties of the Sexton of Bromsgrove 
Church : — 

" To keep the church and pews cleanly swept and dusted. 

" To attend the church during divine worship, in order to open the pew doors 
for the parishioners, and to prevent disturbance, cScc. 
" To ring the bell every night at 8 o'clock. 

" To ring on every Sunday 2 bells at 7 and i bell at 8 in the morning, and 
2 bells at one and one bell at % past one in the afternoon. 



124 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

" To wind up and regularly attend to the church clock and chimes and Town 
Hall clock. 

" To light a fire in the vestry when necessary, and keep the same clean. 

" Regularly to remove the nuisance behind the stones in the churchyard, and 
to sweep the churchyard walks, the churchyard steps, and other approaches to 
the church." 

Resolved (on the motion of Mr. Day, seconded by Mr. Watton), " That the 
Salary for the above duties shall be ^13 a year from the 24th June last, to be paid 
quarterly by the Churchwardens, and that if the duties of the Sexton are not 
properly and satisfactorily performed, the Churchwardens are authorised (after due 
notice) to employ any other person or persons, and to deduct the remuneration paid 
to them from the Sexton's Salary." 

A copy of these resolutions is framed, and hangs up in the vestry. 

Joseph held the office of sexton nearly 45 years, and was deputy clerk for about 
18 years. He died 27th December, 1S68, aged 74 years. 

The following report appeared in the Bromsgrove Messenger of January 2nd, 

1869 :— 

" Death of Mr. Joseph Rose, Parish Clerk and Sexton. 

" On Sunday evening last, Joseph Rose, who had been for nearly 45 years sexton, 
and for 18 years clerk and sexton, of Bromsgrove, died peacefully at his residence, 
the Cemetery Lodge. For some months previously he had been missing from 
his accustomed seat in the parish church, his failing health, and the increased 
infirmities of age, having prevented his fulfilling the duties he had assiduously 
performed for so many years, and which, in his absence, were efficiently carried out 
by his son John. Since INIay last, deceased has been almost entirely confined to his 
house, and his death was, therefore, not unexpected. 

"The deceased was a member of a family who had filled office in this parish 
for nearly a century. His grandfather was sexton for 18 years ; his father held 
the same office for 35 years ; and his brother "William (whom he succeeded in the 
office) was parish clerk for 30 years. Deceased was an officer of the Court Leet for 
50 years ; he was for many years an active change ringer, and one of the old 
society ; and, being possessed of a remarkably fine bass voice, and considerable 
musical talent, he was for many years a prominent and useful member of the church 
choir, in which his abilities were used with considerable advantage and effect. He 
will, doubtless, long be remembered by the inhabitants of Bromsgrove. 

" The burial of deceased took place on Thursday last, his remains being interred 
in the cemetery. The funeral was attended by many of the parishioners, the 
pall bearers being Mr. W. Holyoake, Mr. A. Bennett, and Mr. George Kings, church- 
wardens ; Mr. T. White, Mr. G. Dipple, and Mr. \\. F. \\'ilmshurst. The mourners 



I4g 81ST0RY ANi) ANTIQUITIES. i*g 

were the sons and other relatives of deceased. The service in the church was 
choral, nearly every member of the choir being present to take part, and Mr. J. B. 
Tirbutt presided at the organ. The Rev. A. Waller was the officiating minister 
in the church, the service at the grave being read by the Rev. LI. Jones. There was 
a very large attendance of spectators, in the church and at the grave. At the 
conclusion of the beautiful service, the members of the society of change ringers 
showed their respect for the departed ringer by giving a touch of change ringing, 
with the hand bells, over his grave. They also rang peals upon the church bells 
(which were muffled) before and after the interment." 

And in the January number of the " Parish Magazine," we read — 

" Death of the Parish Clerk. 

" The last funeral in the dying year, 1868, is an event which we cannot pass over 
without a brief notice in the ' Parish Magazine.' It is that of one who was for 
more than 40 years officially connected with the parish church. 

" Joseph Rose, son of Thomas Rose, formerly sexton of Bromsgrove, was born 
on the 5th July, 1794. In 1824 he was elected sexton, by a general poll of the 
parishioners. Possessed of a fine bass voice, he was for many years a prominent 
member of the church choir. In 1850 he was appointed clerk, and the duties 
of this office, together with those of sexton, he continued assiduously to perform 
until compelled to desist by failing health and the increasing infirmities of age. 
Since May last he has been entirely confined to his house. 

"A few days ago he was seen to be sinking, and on Sunday last (December 27th), 
as the bells were calling us to the evening service, he passed away, apparently 
in sleep, in the 75th year of his age. The familiar form and features of ' Sexton 
Rose ' will not soon be forgotten in Bromsgrove." 

With the death of Joseph Rose, the long white rod formerly carried about 
the churcli by the sexton also disappeared. 

On January 9th, the following advertisements appeared in tlie local paper : — 

PARISH OF BROMSGROVE. 

NOTICE. 

A Vestry Meeting of the inhabitants will be held in the Vestry of the Parish 
Church, on Monday Next, the nth day of January, 1869, at Twelve o'clock 
noon, to Elect a Sexton, in the place of Joseph Rose, deceased. 

The Churchwardens desire to inform the Ratepayers that as soon as a meeting is 
made, it is their intention to move an Adjournment, at the Town Hall, and they 
suggest that the Parishioners should give their attendance there instead of at the 
Vestry. 



126 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

TO THE RATEPAYERS OF THE PARISH OF BROMSGROVE. 



My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, — 

By the lamented death of my Father, the office of Sexton of your parish (which 
he held for 45 years) has become vacant; and Monday next, the nth instant, 
at Twelve o'clock, at the A^estry of the Parish Church, is fixed for the Election 
of his successor. 

I beg respectfully to acquaint you that I am a Candidate for the situation, and to 
state that for upwards of five years I have assisted in the performance of the duties, 
and during the last eight tnonths I have done the whole of the work attached to the 
office, in consequence of my Father's illness preventing him leaving his room ; and I 
hope I may be pardoned in venturing to refer you to the manner in which such 
duties have been performed as the best testimonial in my favour. 

The facts that this office has been held by members of the family, uninterruptedly, 
for the last 100 years; and that (should I be honoured with your choice), I shall 
have the valuable assistance of my widowed Mother in carrying out the various 
duties appertaining to it, will, I trust, be received by you as favourable to my 
candidature. 

I propose doing myself the pleasure of personally calling upon as many of the 
Ratepayers as I possibly can before the day of the Election ; but, as the time 
is so short, and the parish so extensive, I fear I shall not be able to call upon 
all of them. 

I shall feel very grateful to those Ratepayers who are in my favour, if they 
will endeavour to make it convenient to attend at the above time and place, for the 
purpose of recording their votes in my favour. 

I have the honour to remain, 

My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, 

Your most obedient Servant, 
Cemetery Lodge, Bromsgrove, John Rose. 

January 7th, 1869. 

The meeting was held as advertised, and, as there was no other candidate 
proposed, John Rose was declared duly elected. 

At the quarterly meeting of the Burial Board, held on January 13th, 1869, 
Mrs. Rose was elected lodge keeper, and John Rose elected registrar and grave 
digger, in the place of Joseph Rose, deceased. 

In July, 1870, the sexton's salary was increased from ;,/^i6 to ;^2o per annum. 

John Rose held office till March 22nd, 1879, when he met with a shocking death, 
by falling from the bellringers' floor to the floor of the church beneath. An account 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. I27 

of the inquest, and other particulars, as it appeared in the Messenger of March 29th, 
is here reproduced : — 

Shocking Fatality at the Parish Church. 



On Saturday night (March 22nd), a thrill of deep feeling was sent through the 
town at the news that Mr. John Rose, sexton, &c., of the Parish Church, and keeper 
of the Cemetery, had met with a sudden and terrible death, through falling from the 
belfry to the floor of the church beneath, a distance of over 40 feet. It appeared 
that Rose was busy in his usual avocations preparing for the Sabbath services at the 
- church, and among other duties he had to wind up the clock, for which purpose he 
had to ascend above the belfry. This he seems to have done between seven and 
eight o'clock. In the centre of the belfry floor is a large square opening, to admit of 
the hoisting or lowering of the bells to or from their position. This is closed by two 
folding trap doors, raised several inches above the floor level ; and it seems that 
it was the custom, on the appearance of smoke in the body of the church from 
the warming apparatus, to raise these trap doors for the smoke to pass out by 
the windows placed north and south in the belfry. Such, apparently, was the case on 
Saturday, when one half of the trap door was opened, and it is conjectured that the 
deceased, who had already wound up the clock and fastened the windows, was 
turning from the north window, when, not observing it in the darkness, he fell 
through the open portion as stated. The rope of the small bell, or " ting-tang," as it 
is familiarly called, led through and across the trap opening, and this bell was heard 
to give four or five strokes in an unusual manner about the time the accident 
occurred, and it is supposed that deceased must have fallen across, or, in his descent, 
clutched this rope, which was found broken in two. A nephew of the deceased, 
Joseph William Rose, who resided with his uncle, and used generally to perform the 
duties in question, but who was otherwise engaged on this particular day, suddenly 
remembering the trap door, ran up to the church to warn his uncle, but he had 
scarcely opened the door when he heard a groan, somewhere on the floor of the 
church, but could see nothing in the darkness. The deceased, however, was sensible, 
knew his nephew, and addressed him by name, and the latter lifted and assisted his 
uncle to a seat, and remained with him several minutes, when, as he said, he 
appeared to die. The nephew then ran for a surgeon, and found Dr. "Wood, 
who returned with him to the church, where they found poor Rose still alive. 
Dr. Wood wished him to take a draught, but after drinking a portion he refused to 
take more, and wished to be raised up. I'his was done, when the poor fellow almost 
immediately expired. The police were communicated with, and the body was at 
once removed to the deceased's residence, the cemetery lodge. 



ja8 BROMfea»€iV42 CHURCH i 

As may be expected, the dreadful event formed a topic of conversation of deep 
interest in the town and district throughout Sunday, and the Vicar (the Rev. G. W. 
Murray), feeUngly alluded to it at the morning service at the parish church ; and Mr. 
Tirbutt, the organist, played the " Dead March " as the concluding voluntary. 

The inquest on the body was held at the Horn and Trumpet Inn, Kidderminster- 
road, on Tuesday, before W. S. P. Hughes, Esq., coroner, acting as deputy for 
R. Docker, Esq., and a respectable jury, of whom Mr. T. Billingham was the 
foreman. 

Joseph William Rose, nephew of the deceased, who was the only witness called, 
said his uncle was 38 years of age, and was clerk and sexton at the parish church, 
and cemetery keeper. Witness lived with him, and was 20 years old within a 
month. On Saturdays he generally assisted his uncle by performing several duties 
for him at the church, such as winding up the clock, lighting the stove w^arming 
apparatus, and cleaning the vestry ready for the services the following day. But on 
this occasion (on Saturday last) he did not do so, for, being a pupil teacher at the 
National Schools, and preparing for examination, he was studying for that purpose. 
About six o'clock in the evening, through the Board-room window^, he saw^ the 
deceased coming as from town. His uncle knew he was studying, and though he 
didn't speak with him he presumed he went to the church for the purpose of doing 
the work he (witness) was accustomed to do ; there could be no doubt about it. 
Witness afterwards learnt from his aunt that his uncle had gone to the church. 
After a while he recollected that he had left open the trap door, and he immediately 
ran up to the church for the purpose either of preventing his uncle going into the 
belfry or warning him that the trap lid was open. This was about twenty minutes to 
eight, as nearly as he could judge. On opening the west door of the church 
he heard a groan from the floor, directly under the trap door. It was quite dark, 
and witness could not see anyone, but he felt his uncle, who was conscious, and 
knew him, calling him by name.* AVitness lit the gas. His uncle did not tell him 
what had happened, and he saw no signs but the open lid above. Deceased 
complained of his hips, and asked witness to raise him, and he did so, putting him, 
with some difficulty, on to one of the nearest seats, and having to support him with 
his arm. He asked him if he had been upstairs, and he told him in reply once, 
twice (and he would not say whether it was not thrice), that he had not ; but a few 
minutes later he said that he had been up. Some three or four minutes elapsed 
before witness went for a doctor, and when his uncle appeared to have died in 
his arms. Witness then laid him down in the aisle of the church. Being questioned 
more particularly as to what actual evidence he had that the deceased had been 
in the belfry, witness said the ting-tang rope was broken in tw^o, and he himself had 
opened the belfry windows at twenty minutes to five o'clock, but when he and 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 29 

Superintendent Tyler, who was sent for, went up subsequently, the windows were 
found to be closed and fastened, and the clock was wound up. No one but the 
deceased could have done these things. The keys of the church were kept at 
the cemetery lodge, and the keys of the tower at the church. The deceased's right 
arm was completely shattered, there was a wound over his right eye, and a small one 
on the head. The height from the trap door to the floor of the church had been 
measured, and was found to be a few inches over 40 feet. Dr. Wood tried to 
administer a draught to the deceased, who lived for some five minutes after he came. 
That would be about a minute or a minute and a half after he arrived. Deceased 
swallowed part of the draught, but refused to take the remainder. He said — 
" I shan't ; never mind what the doctor says ; heave me up ; I shan't take it." 
Witness accordingly lifted the deceased, and he died immediately. 

To the Foreman of the Jury : His uncle was already dead when the Vicar 
arrived. 

To the Coroner : There could not be the slightest doubt that death was caused 
by the deceased falling through the trap door. 

Henry Rose, brother of the deceased, who was present at the inquiry, but who 
was not sworn, said that his wife heard the ting-tang at an unusual hour, and on 
looking up at the clock she found that it was just twenty minutes to eight. He 
suggested that the deceased must have closed the south window and gone across to 
the north window, which he also closed, and then, on stepping off the " tenor block," 
on which he stood to fasten the window last named, fell through the half-open 
trap door. 

This was the whole of the evidence, and the jury, without any consideration, at 
once returned a verdict of "Accidental death," appending a recommendation to the 
Vicar and Churchwardens either that the trap door should be i)ermanently closed, or 
a grating fixed over it for ventilating purposes, if that were considered absolutely 
necessary. (This recommendation was immediately afterwards carried out, and 
an iron grating was put over one half of the aperture, and so arranged that the other 
door could not be opened without the removal of the iron bolts of the grating. The 
work was done by Mr. WilUam Ledbury, at a cost of 25s.) 

We understand (although the fact was not brought out in evidence) that Dr. 
Wood, who was the first to arrive at the church when fetched — Mr. Joseph Rose 
having waited for the draught in question — found the deceased quite sensible, and he 
expressed a wish to " walk home." 

The deceased and his ancestors had filled the offices of parish clerks and sextons 
of Bromsgrove for considerably over 100 years, and the poor fellow who has just 
now met with such a sad end, was generally resjjccted as a worthy representative 
of his line. He was intelligent, of a cheerful temperament, ever possessing a kindly 



130 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

and good-natured word for everybody with whom he was brought into contact, and 
his pleasant and genial manners will be missed by many of his fellows in the rank of 
life in which he moved. Much sympathy is expressed in all quarters, not only at his 
untimely death, but with the sorrowing widow, relatives, and children, of whom there 
are four, the youngest only about a fortnight old. 

The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, with choral service, rendered 
by the combined choirs of St. John's and All Saints' churches. A large congregation 
assembled, both at the church and at the grave side. The churchwardens, Messrs. 
W. Holyoake, J. R. Horton, T. Billingham, and W. Corbett, acted as pall-bearers, 
and large deputations from the local lodges of Odd-fellows, the " British Queen," and 
the " Loyal Queen's Own," the latter of which the deceased was a member — were in 
attendance. A beautiful wreath and cross of exotic flowers was placed on the coffin. 
The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. P. Ellis and the Rev. Garnons-Williams, 
curates. Psalm xc. was chanted, and after the lesson, hymn 142 was sung. As the 
procession left the church, Mr. Tirbutt played the " Dead March ; " hymn 163 was 
sung on the way to the grave, and hymn 1 1 7 on returning. 

The untoward circumstances of the death of the deceased, and the solemn 
occasion drew tears from many eyes independent of those immediately concerned. 
Muffled peals were rung on the church bells at intervals during the day. 

In the Messenger of April 5 th, the following advertisements appeared : — 
PARISH OF BROMSGROVE. 



A Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Bromsgrove will be held in 
the Vestry of the Parish Church, on Thursday Next, the loth day of April 
instant, at Ten o'clock a.m., for the purpose of Appointing a Parish Sexton in the 
place of Mr. John Rose, deceased. G. W. Murray, Vicar. 

Wm. Holyoake, "\ 
Jno. R. Horton, I 



Thos. Billingham, 






Churchwardens. 



W. Corbett, 
TO THE RATEPAYERS OF THE PARISH OF BROMSGROVE. 



Ladies and Gentlemen, — 

By the lamented death of my late Uncle, John Rose, the Office of Sexton of 
your Parish (which he held for a number of years), has become Vacant ; and 
Thursday next, the loth instant, at Ten a.m., at the Vestry of the Parish Church, is 
fixed for the Election of his successor. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 131 

I beg respectfully to acquaint you that I am a Candidate for the Situation, and 
to state that for the past three or four years I have assisted in the performance 
of the duties, especially at times of my late uncle's temporary absence from 
illness or otherwise ; and I hope I may be pardoned in venturing to refer you 
to the manner in which such duties have been performed, as a good testimonial 
in my favour. 

I have also excellent testimonials from the Vicar, Churchwardens, and my late 
Schoolmaster, Mr. ^^'^illiam Dodd ; together with the support of a large majority of 
the Gentry and Inhabitants of the Parish of Bromsgrove. 

The fact that this office has been held uninterruptedly by members of the family 
for the last 150 years, and that (should I be honoured with your choice), it is 
my intention to assist in the maintenance of my widowed aunt — Mrs. John Rose 
— will, I trust, be received by you as favourable to my candidature. 

I shall feel \'ery grateful to those Ratepayers who are in my favour, if they will 
endeavour to make it couvenient to attetid at the above-named time and place, for 
the purpose of recording their votes in my favour. But as the time is short and the 
parish so extensive, I fear I shall not be able to call upon them all. 
I have the honour to remain, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
Cemetery Lodge, Bromsgro^■e, Your most obedient Servant, 

April 3rd, 1879. Joseph William Rose. 

A meeting of the inhabitants of the parish was held in the Vestry of the Parish 
Church of St. John, on Thursday morning, April loth, for the purpose of appointing 
a sexton, in the place of Mr. J. Rose, deceased. The ^^icar (the Rev. G. W. Murray) 
presided, and the attendance, at a tolerably full meeting, included — Messrs. W. 
Holyoake, J. R. Horton, W. Corbett (churchwardens), W. Llewellin, T. White, 
W. Jefferies, E. Ward, C. B. Steedman, H. Parry, W. Bolding, C. Field, T. Grove, 
H. W. Lewis, R. Cook, and others. 

The Chairman opened the business by reading the notice convening the meeting, 
and regretting the cause for it. He remarked that although ordinarily the appoint- 
ment rested with the incumbent, he found that at the last election the very useful 
custom had been followed of election by the ratepayers, which he did not wish 
to upset on the present occasion. 

Mr. Holyoake proposed the election of Joseph \\'illiam Rose, nephew of the 
deceased sexton, remarking that he was an intelligent youth, and had been fully 
accustomed to perform the duties in his uncle's lifetime. 

Mr. J. R. Horton seconded the nomination, which was further sui)ported by Mr. 
W. Jefferies. 



132 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

After a pause the Chairman asked if there was any otlier nomination, when Mr. 
^^^ Wildsmitli proposed Mr. Frederick BeUamy for the office. The hatter, however, 
who was present, said he dici not wish to oppose Mr. Rose, but simply to have 
his own name before the ratepayers if any legal difficulty should arise on the score of 
Mr. Rose's age. Mr. Horton and the Chairman both said there was no difficulty of 
the kind. Mr. Bellamy accordingly withdrew liis name, and there being none other 
before the meeting, Mr. Rose v/as unanimously elected, and thanked the meeting, 
assuring it of his earnestness of purpose in respect to his aunt and family. 

A suggestion by Mr. T. White that the appointment should be for twelve months 
only, the permanent appointment to follow, was not entertained. 

Before the meeting dispersed, Mr. Holyoake introduced the subject of raising a 
subscription for the widow of the late sexton, and proposed that a committee be 
formed for that purpose. Mr. White seconded the proposition, which was supported 
by Mr. Jefferies and ISIr. Corbett, and carried, the Vicar and Churchwardens being 
appointed a committee for carrying out the object. 

A vote of thanks to the chairman brought the proceedings to a close. 

William Rose, son of Thomas Rose, previously mentioned, and brother to Joseph 
Rose, was appointed clerk in 18 19, on the death of William Brooke. He died April 
6th, 1850, having held the office for 31 years. Returning from a wedding, he fell, 
, going down the church steps, and broke his leg, from the effects of which he never 
recovered. From this time the offices of clerk and sexton have been combined, 
Joseph Rose being the first member of the family holding both appointments. 

Joseph William Rose is the present clerk and sexton. 

In the churchyard are gravestones to the memory of several members of this 
family. 




ITS HISTORY AND AMIoLTriES. 



^Bc ^cgisfcx* 




HE first parish register"* commences in March, 1590, and continues till 
1650, the early part of it being written in Latin. In tliis, and the three 
succeeding books, the christenings, marriages, and deaths are entered 
indiscriminately. The most curious remarks made in the first of these books are as 
follows : — 

"The 29th day of January, 1604, was buried John, the son of Thomas Wyllar, 
of this town : vide infra : 

"The 9th day of February, 1604, was buried ^^'illiam, the son of Thomas 
Wyllar, of this town. The plague was at this time in this town, and in tliis family. 
Vide infra : " 

During the first 20 years of the register there were married, christened, and 
buried 2940 persons. 

The next volume contains three distinct register books bound together. On the 
front leaf of the first — 

" William Suthwell, of the Parish of Bromsgrove, in the County of A\'orcester, 
make cause before me (being one of the Justices assigned for the keeping of the 
peace for the County of Worcester aforesaid)! this . . third day of October, 
1653, and desire to be admitted to take the oath of Parish Register of the Parish of 
Bromsgrove, being thereunto duly elected according to the ... of an Act of 

* In the 30th Henry VIII., Sep. 1538, Cromwell, the King's vicegerent in ecclesiastical affairs, 

issued the following injunction : — 

"Item. — That you and every parson, vicar, or curate within the diocese, for every Church keep 
one Book or Register, wherein he shall write the day and year of every Wedding, Christening, and 
Burial made within your parish for your time, and so every man succeeding you likewise, and also 
there insert every person's name that shall be so wedded, christened, and buried. And for the safe 
keeping of the same Book, the parish shall be bound to provide of their common charges one sure 
coffer, with two locks and keys, whereof the one to remain with you, and the other with the 
Wardens of every parish wherein the said Book shall be laid up, which Book ye shall every Sunday 
take forth, and in the presence of the said Wardens, or one of them, write and record in the same 
all the Weddings, Christenings, and Burials made the whole week afore, and that done, to lay up 
the Book in the said coffer as afore ; and for every time that the same shall be omitted, the party 
that shall be in the fault thereof shall forfeit to the said Church iij"^- iiij'' (3s. 4d.), to l)e employed on 
the reparation of the said Church. 

t Under the administration of the Protectorate, the rarliamenl, about llio year 1653, directed 
registrars to be chosen by every parish, to be approved of and swum liy a Justice of the I'eace, for 
the registering of births and burials. 



134 IIKOMSGHOVK ClfUKCIl : 

Parliam! bearing date the four and twentieth day of August, 1653, intituled an Act 
touching Marriages and the registering thereof, and also touching Births and Burialls, 
the truth of which election appeared unto me by certificate, under the hand and 
scale of Humphrey Lowe, gent., and divers others of the Inhabitants of the Parish of 
Bromsgrove. And, giving due audit to the same certificate, I have administered our 
oath to the said William Suthwell for the true and fast keei)ing of this Register Book 
according to the forementioned Act of Parliament, having placed his name in this 

booke and And hereby pubUsh, order, and ordain him Parish 

Register of Bromsgrove aforesaid. "Witness my hand, the day and year above 
written. u William Suthwell. " George Milward." 

On March 17th, 1657, this entry occurs : " Pubhshed the 3':} time in y^ market 
an intended marriage between Ambrose Crowley of Oldswinford, Nayler, and Mary 
Hall of this parish, spinster, without contradiction. Married April 2"?? by the 
Justices of Kidr" (Kidderminster.) There are numerous similar entries. 

On August 24th, 1653, an Act of Parhament was passed— " That whosoever 
should agree to be married within the Commonwealth of England, after the 29'.'} 
September, 1653, should (21 days before such intended marriage), deliver in writing 
unto the Register (thereinafter appointed) for the respective parish, where each party 
to be married lived, the names, surnames, additions, and places of abode of the 
parties so to be married, and of their parents, guardians, or overseers, all which said 
Register should pubUsh three Lord's-days then next following, at the close of the 
morning exercise, in the public meeting-place, commonly called the church or chapel, 
or (if the parties desired it) in the market-place next to the said church or chapel, on 
three market-days, in three several weeks next following, between the hours of 11 
and 2 ; which done, the Register should make a certificate thereof, without which 
the persons thereinafter authorised, should not proceed in such marriage. That 
such persons intending to be married, should come before some Justice of the Peace 
of the same county, city, or town, with such certificate, and if no impediment, the 
marriage was to proceed," &c. 

The second part of this book is entitled, " The Register Booke for the Towne 
and Parish of Bromsgrove in the County of Worcester, since the 29'.'? of November, 
1 67 1." Tho. AMlmott, Vicar. 

The third part, "A Register of the names of all that were born, marryed, and 
buried in the parish of Bromsgrove since the Act for the Births, INIarriages, and 
Burialls tooke date, being May the i^} 1695." Thomas Wilmott, Vi : 

The Act just mentioned ordered that the parents of every child thereafter born, 
shall, within five days after the birth, gixe notice to the \'icar, &c., of the parish, of 
the day of the l>ir//i of the child, under a penalty of 40'- ; which vicar, &c., were, 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 35 

under a like penalty, to take an exact and true account of, and keep a distinct 
register of such so born, and not christened, for doing which the parents were to pay 
to the vicar 6'' 

These registers of births are occasionally found entered in the registers, but not 
in a separate book. 

The following are a few extracts from this volume : — 

July 1 8th, 1659. — Bu : Darby servf to M'- Williamson. 
,, 27th, ,, Born Samuel son of William Sheldon, gent : 

Mar. 19th, 1660. — Memorandum that upon a Licence granted to M"- Abigail Taylor 
of Barn Green in the Parish of Bromsgrove being sick on the 
12"' of this instant . . to eat flesh-meates for seven days 
according to y" statute. If her sickness continues so long. Her 
weakness and Indisposition yet enduring I do further license 
her as much as in me lies to eat flesh-meates for seven days 
more from y^ date hereof And have accordingly entered y" 
same into y" church Register of Bromsgrove aforesaid according 
to y^ statute before one of y° churchwardens. 

Witness my hand y*" day and year above written in the presence of 
George Parteing J. WooUey vie. of 

his mark x Bromsgrove. 

March 26th. 
The Indisposition of M"' Abigail Taylor continuing Her license to eat flesh- 
meats was renewed according to y° statute for seven days longer by me 

Jos. Woolley vie. of Bromsgrove. 
Renewed again April 3'''^- 

Renewed again April lo"'- 
Renewed again — 17"'- 

By me J. Woolley Vic. 

Sept. 6th, 1 66 1. — Antony Cole of Chawich was buried twice, first by the Quakers 

and after in the Churchyard. 
Jan. I St, 1696. — Interred a child of Matthew Spurston unbaptised. 
Feb. ist, 1699. — Bur. A Stranger. 

X)ec. — 1704- — Born a child of Onionss (?) at y" Rose and Crown. 
Oct. 1 6th, 1 7 19. — Bur. Mr. Edward Mitten of y° Parish of Colmington, and 

sojourner with one Mr. Henry Hayns att Sparckficld in Corne- 

dale In Shropshire. 
Elizabeth I), of Thomas Cookes was bap. Feb. 1st, 1705, when 

about S years old. 



136 liROMSGKOVK CHURCH : 

The third book contains the entries from 17 19 to 1733. 
This Booke bought l)y us undernamed 
John Bidford, 
John Cartwrit, 
Nicholas Spriggs, 
Nicholas Hill. 
It contains these entries — 
April ist, 1 72 1. — Bur. A child of a A\agrant. 
May 31st, i727.-=-Bur. Humfrey Lowe, Esq. Afifidavit made 
In the year 1729 55 M. B. and christenings. 
July 7th, 1727. — Bur. Mr. John Smith, Dadford. 

In Jan. 1733, a list of the children of Thom. AVillkes, maker of linen cloth, 
is inserted. 

The fourth book commences April, 1734, and continues till 1754. 

Be noticed that on January 28th, 1743, Francis Son of John and Sarah 
Spilsbury was baptised, (see page 60.) 

The title page of the fifth book is — 

" The Register Book of the Christenings, Marriages, and Burials in the 

Parish of Bromsgrove. 
" Be it Remembered that the Rev''- Mr. John Waugh was Instituted to the 
Vicarage of Bromsgrove the . . day of . . 1754- Inducted the 
. . day of . . following." 
The christenings, deaths, and marriages are kept separate in this and the 
remaining books, and appear to have been entered periodically from other books. 
At this time the entries are written in a very good hand, and the register well 
and carefully kept. 

The book contains the following entries : — 
Aug. 9th, 1754. — Christ. Benjamin Son of Sarah Badley, of Bromsgrove, a Bastard. 
Nov. 8th, 1754. — ,, Elizabeth Daughter of Joshua and Ann Bourne, sojourner. 
April 26th, 1755. — ,, Nancy Daughter of John and Hannah Giles of] 

the Lickey, Nailer 
„ Hannah Daughter of John and Hannah Giles 
of the Lickey, Nailer 
April 26th, 1755. — ,, Ann Daughter of John and Mary Broomfield of] 

\\ildmoor, Nailer 



- Twins. 



, Twins. 
Hannah Daughter of John and Mary Broomfield 

of Wildmoor, Nailer J 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 



137 



May 6th, 1755.— Christ. Betty Daughter of William and Mary Croley, a Soldier. 



Dec. 28th, 1755.- 
April 28th, 1756.- 

Dec. 6th, 1769.- 

„ 19th, 1769.- 



Sarah. 

Elizabeth Lewis Daughter of Mary Strange, Pauper, a 

Bastard. 
Frances Daughter of John and Ann Bing Sidemoor, 

Nailer, 3 months old. 
George Son of Elizabeth Woolmere of Bromsgrove, 
lUegit. 
Nov. 6th, 1753. — Buried Rev. Mr. Wm. Philips, A.B., late Vicar of this Parish. 
Feb. 15th, 1754. — „ The Rev. Mr. George Wilmott, A.M., late Fellow of Balliol 

College, Oxford. 
Samuel, a Foundling. 
A Stranger. 

Rich. AValker Fellow of Worcester College in Oxford, 
Clerk. 
There are numerous entries of the burials of " paupers " — sometimes as many as 
four or five in a month — and " strangers." The trades of the respective persons are 
given in this register, forcibly calling to mind the time when Bromsgrove was in 
a much more flourishing and prosperous condition than at present. We give a 
few of the trades mentioned — 



Sept. 29th, 1750. — 

„ 13th, 1762.— 

Mar. 1 6th, 1771. — ■ 



Brush maker 


Hatcheller 




Sawyer 


Breeches maker 


Heel maker 




Swingler 


Chandler 


Higgler 




Tanner 


Clog maker 


Maltster 




Turner 


Currier 


Needle make 


:r 


"Whitster 


Dyer 


Patten wood 


maker 


Whitener 


Flax dresser 


Rope maker 




AVool comber 


Hatter 








igst the Christian 


names found are — 






Ambrose 


Cuthbert 


Hezekiah 


Phelis 


Arabella 


Dorothy 


Joan 


Priscilla 


Aquilla 


Deborah 


Joannah 


Rephael 


Bridget 


Drauahy (?) 


Judith 


Sabina 


Bety 


Dennis 


Justinian 


Temperance 


Bartholomew 


Emblem 


Lilyan 


Ursula 


Abigail 


Fortune 


Nathan 


Winifred 


Baldwin 


Gregory 


Oswald 


Zechariah 


Cyril 


Glcodosia 


Obadiah 





138 RROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

From March, 1755, to March, 1775, there were married, christened, and buried, 

as under, viz. :— 

Marriages. Christenings. Burials. 

1755 ... 24 ... 164 ... 80 

1756 ... 31 ... 100 ... 108 

1757 ... 27 ... 137 ... 148 

1758 ... 29 ... Ill ... 107 

1759 ... 21 ... 139 ... 112 

1760 ... 39 ... 144 ... 96 

1761 ... 34 ... 141 ... 100 

1762 ... 35 ... 141 ... 128 

1763 ... 35 ... 132 ... 147 

1764 ... 43 ... 145 ... 127 

1765 ... 44 ... 143 ... 153 

1766 ... 39 ... 115 ... 130 

1767 ... 40 ... 158 ... 127 

1768 ... 50 ... 150 ... 107 

1769 ... 58 ... 152 ... 123 

1770 ... 49 ... 158 ... 158 

1771 ... 38 ... 158 ... 129 

1772 ... 35 ... 151 ... 105 

1773 ... 38 ... 141 ... 128 

1774 ... 50 ... 137 ... 119 



Total ... 759 ... 2817 ... 2432 

Until the year 1754, and between the years 1784 and 1813, there are no entries 
of places of residence ; after that date such entries were compulsory by Act of 
Parliament. 

On November 17th, 1824, a meeting of the churchwardens was held at the 
Vicarage to inspect the registers, and " it was found necessary to order the repair of 
the bindings of several volumes which were defective ; also that some of them (the 
leaves being loose), should be resewed." Mr. Maund was instructed to do the work. 

At the same meeting it was ordered that a parish meeting be called, " for the 
purpose of laying before them the Act of Parliament requiring that the Parish 
Register be kept in an iron Cliest, and, there being no such chest, to make an order 
for procuring one." 

A meeting was accordingly held on February 23rd, 1825, and an iron safe 
ordered. This safe is at the Vicarage, and the registers and communion plate 
are kept in it. There is also the old oak parish chest, about 3ft. 6in. long, having 
three trunk locks, with iron ties at the corners ; together with a large box, at the 
Vicarage. The latter is full of papers and books relating to parish matters, but 
the dampness of the situation is doing much damage to them. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUIHES. 



i3y 



^^c Wtcaragc. 




HE present Vicarage House was built in 1848, by Mr. Robinson, of 
Redditch, from designs prepared by Mr. Henry Day, and cost about 
;2^i8oo. Of this sum about ^1200 was ^^ ^^^^^ gi^ fc:.^^^y~ X 

obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, and was repayable 

by the several vicars in annual payments extending over a 

period of 30 years. The last payment was made in 1878. 

The remainder of the contract sum was made up by the 

sale of the materials in the old vicarage, which was in 

a very dilapidated state, and other items. The building 

is of brick, with stone dressings, and occupies a site near 

to the former vicarage house, which covered a consider- 
able area, owing to additions, of an irregular character, being made to it from time to 

time. A part of the cellaring of the previous building still remains intact, and may 

be entered from the garden of the present vicarage. 





|N connection with the church is a Sunday School,* attended by al)0ut 
800 scholars. It was till recently supported by subscription and part of 
the proceeds of a collection in the church on one Sunday in the year, 
the otlier part going to the day schools. Every year ;^io is allowed by the school 
managers for the support of the Sunday school, in lieu of the old arrangement. 

The Church Sunday School in Bromsgrove was originated by a ]\lr. A\'illiam 
Brooke, about 1788, in a house in St. John Street, opposite the church steps, 
and consisted of two boys and seven girls. The premises belonged to a Mr. Bell, 
and he and Mr. Brettell, who lived at The Steps, took great interest in the welfare of 



* A searching enquiry has recently been made on the subject of tlie origin of .Sunday Schools, 
with the following historical result : — Cardinal Borromeo (Roman Catholic), of .Milan, sowed the 
first seed in 1580, which was followed by Rev. Joseph Alleinc (Nonconformist), Bath, 1650 ; then by 
Mrs. C. Boevey (a lady of the -Church of England), Flaxley, in 1717 ; Rev. Theophilus Lindsey and 
Miss Catherine Cappe (Unitarians), in 1764-65 ; Miss Hannah Ball (Methodist), High Wycombe, 
1769 ; Mr. William King (Whitfieldite), Dursley, 1774 ; James Heyes (Presbyterian), Little Leven, 
1775 ; Rev. Thomas Kennedy (Episcopalian), Downpatrick, 1776 ; Rev. Thomas Stock and Mr. 
Robert Raikes (Church of England), Gloucester. Thus it appears that this philanthropic work was 
not chiseled out by any one sectarian instrument. 



X40 BROMSGROVE CHUKCH : 

the scholars. The school increasing, the Quakers' meeting liouse was used as a girls' 
school, the boys retaining the old quarters until they removed to tlie old Town Hall, 
but that building becoming unsafe, the school was again removed, and held for 
a time in the old cotton factory. On November 17th, 1830, at a meeting for the 
purpose of electing a Committee of Management, it was represented that the 
number of children in the Sunday Schools had greatly increased, and that the 
accommodation was insufficient, and it was resolved that suitable accommodation 
should be obtained as soon as possible, and that the committee be emi)owered 
to prepare some plan to submit to a future meeting. At the following meeting, held 
on November 30th, it was thought that the wants of the parish in other respects 
should be considered, and it was deemed expedient to erect such a building as 
would combine the wants of a schoolroom and Town Hall. It was the opinion 
of the meeting that the best situation for the building was on the north-west side of 
High Street, on some land belonging to Mr. Tidmas. It was decided that a plan 
and estimate should be prepared by Mr. Woodhouse, under Mr. Adams' inspection, 
for a building two stories high, 60 feet long and 24 feet wide — inside measure, or 
such larger dimensions as shall be found necessary to accommodate 500 children 
at least in each room. It was further decided that the plan be made with the 
utmost regard to economy, " the building to be as plain as possible, and no allowance 
to be made in the estimate for ground to build upon." At the next meeting, held on 
November 26th, Mr. Adams produced the plan and estimate, from which it appeared 
" that, to accommodate 500 children in each room, the rooms must contain an 
area of 1295 feet, and that the expense of building such rooms in the plainest 
manner will be ^700." Mr. Adams had also made a calculation that a suitable 
Town Hall and Market Place might be attached to, or united with, this building, at 
an additional cost of ^300. It was then resolved, " That the Churchwardens do 
wait on Mr. Wm. Robeson, as agent of the Earl of Plymouth, and lay before 
him such parts of the old Churchwardens' books, and a certain lease granted by the 
Churchwardens in 1777, as tend to establish the property of the Parish in the Town 
Hall, and request him to communicate with the Earl of Plymoutli on the subject, 
and report to next meeting." 

On February loth, 183 1, it was decided to call a public meeting on the reply 
of the Earl of Plymouth, but at a meeting of the committee, held in the Vestry 
November 30th, it was deemed expedient to relinquish the idea of building a Town 
Hall in combination with schools ; and as a means to raise funds for building 
schools, it was resolved to hold a concert and ball, and apiily the i)roceeds or profits. 
Mr. Simms, the organist, was made a member of the committee, and requested 
to preside as leader of the band. The total receipts were ^78 9s. 6d., and the 
expenses ^^o 9s. 6d. ; the net profit of ^48 was handed o\-er to a building fund. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. I41 

At a committee meeting, held in February, 1832, it was stated "that the Rev. the 
Vicar having expressed his desire that an accommodation of land should be given by 
the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, on which Sunday Schools may be erected," it 
was resolved — " That as the Town Hall will be taken down next month, and as no 
other room can be obtained, permanently, for the schools, it is become indispensably 
necessary that new schoolrooms should be erected with all possible despatch." 

At the annual meeting, held July 23rd, 1832, it was thought that, owing to 
correspondence with the Dean and Chapter and the Earl of Plymouth, a lease of 21 
years, renewable every term at a peppercorn rent, might be obtained, and it was 
decided by a majority of five " that it is expedient to build on such a tenure." 
Mr. Maund was then instructed to make application for " that portion of the 
garden immediately adjoining the churchyard, which lies between tlie Crown Close 
and Sidemoor Lane," and supposed to contain about a quarter of an acre. This 
land was formerly the bowling green belonging to the Crown Hotel, the present 
Institute. 

At a committee meeting, held on December 8th, it was stated that the consent of 
the Earl of Plymouth and the Dean and Chapter of Worcester had been obtained for 
tiie grant of land above recommended for the site of the Sunday Schools, and that 
all was ready (except the nomination of trustees), for the conveyance of the land, 
and it was decided to call a public meeting to sanction the proceedings ; however, at 
the public meeting, held on January 4th, 1833, ^^ adjournment was moved, in order 
to aflbrd time to find a freehold site, if possible ; but at the adjourned meeting 
it was resolved, " I'hat if the money required could be obtained, the proi)osed site 
near the churchyard should be adopted." It was further resolved, ''That the most 
advantageous plan of accommodating 500 children in each room appears to this 
meeting to be that the rooms should be 86ft. long, 32ft. wide, and each room 14ft. 
higlr — inside measure. The Chairman was instructed to communicate with Messrs. 
Woodhouse, Skidmore, ^Ym. Hill, Wm. Kings, Joseph Brooke, John Robinson (of 
Redditch), and Thos. Edwards, desiring them to send in to him, on or before 
Monday, the 21st instant, sealed tenders for completion of the above rooms, upon an 
elevation to be proposed by the several builders, ^^'oodl■louse's plan was " assumed 
as the general basis of the building." 

On January 28th, at an adjourned meeting, the Chairman stated "that the Earl 
of Plymouth had munificently expressed his intention (;^7oo having been raised 
irom the weighing macrliine and funds of the school) of supplying gratuitously any 
deficiency which may arise in the funds for the completion of the proposed building, 
provided the same do not exceed ^300, and provided the work be executed under 
the direction of Mr. Lee, of Beoley, as surveyor." l"he best thanks of the meeting 
>yere then accorded to thp Earl for his noble donation. 



142 EROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

On May 9th, 1833, the following tenders for the erection of the schools were 
opened : — r 

John Barnett, 20, George Street, St. Paul's, Birmingham ... 1091 
William AVoodhouse, Bromsgrove ... ... ... ... 990 

Thomas Holland ... ... ... ... ... ... 960 

John Rol)inson, Redditch ... ... ... ... ... 950 

Samuel Hartle, Birmingham ... ... ... ... ... 857 

Hartle's tender was accepted, and it was agreed to give the contractor ^50 
extra if his contract was completed by 21st November, but not otherwise. 

The building was opened as a Sunday School for the first time on Christmas 
Day, in 1833. The Rev. J. N. Harward, Curate-in-charge, was the prime mover in 
the erection of the schools. 

On January 31st, 1834, it was decided to make application to the National 
Society to receive the schools into union, and to afford them assistance towards the 
completion of the building to the extent of ^200, which the society did. 

At a meeting, held on February 19th, 1834, it was represented that in 
consequence of an unforseen expense of ^77 8s., in securing a solid foundation 
for the schoolrooms, the building fund was exhausted, and the sum of ^75 remained 
due to Mr. Hartle, the builder. It was therefore decided to draw to that extent on 
Messrs. Rufford and Co., the bankers. The total cost of the schools was ^1244 6s. 

At a meeting of the Committee of Management, held on April ist, 1835, i" 
conformity with a resolution passed at a meeting held on December 8th, 1834, it was 
resolved, " That an Infant School be forthwith established in the lower Sunday 
School." This resolution was confirmed at a public meeting held on the i6th of 
April following. 

The minute book, from which many of the foregoing notes were extracted, 
abruptly terminates here, and no further minutes are recorded till October 7th, 1846, 
when, at a meeting of the committee of the Sunday and of the National Schools, 
" it was considered exjjcdient that for the future these schools be united ; that they 
be supported by a common fund, managed by the same committee, and be in 
all respects considered as one institution." At this meeting it was resolved, " That 
an application be made to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester for the purpose 
of getting the buildings conveyed to trustees in perpetuity for the use of the 
schools ; " and, " That after the buildings are so conveyed, an application be made to 
the Committee of Privy Council for a grant in aid of any fund already raised, or to 
be raised, for the payment of any debt which may have been contracted for the 
repair of the schools, and also for any alteration of the present buildings, or the 
erection of any additional ones which may be found necessary." These resolutions 
were confirmed on October 14th, 1846. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. I43 

The plan of union was decided as follows : — 

1. The two schools to be supported by a common fund, managed by the same 
committee, and to be considered in all respects as the same institution. 

2. The buildings and premises to be conveyed to the vicar of the parish and 
the churchwardens for the time being, in trust for the purpose of educating the 
children of the poor of the parish of Bromsgrove in the principles of the 
Established Church. 

3. The vicar of the parish to have the sole order and direction of the religious 
instruction ; direction and government of the schools to be vested in, and 
exercised by, a committee. 

4. Such committee to consist of the vicar of the parish, his curate (if any), 
the Curate of Catshill, and 14 other persons, chosen annually by the subscribers, 
and that five be empowered to act. 

5. No person to be qualified to vote for the committee who is not an annual 
subscriber of five shilUngs at least to the schools. 

6. The vicar, if present, to be chairman of the committee. If the vicar be 
not present, the chairman to be chosen by the members present. The chairman 
to have a casting vote in case of an equality of vote. 

A portion of the profits derived from the town weighing machine were, from its 
erection in 1795, applied to the support of the Sunday School, and at a meeting of 
the trustees, held December 6th, 1833, it was resolved to mortgage the machine, Sec, 
foi" ^3°°i to Mr. John Holyoake, the proceeds to go towards the erection of the 
present National Schools. The principal and interest (five per cent.) were paid off 
August 27th, 1 84 1. The schools were considerably damaged by a fire which 
occurred on January 5th, 1857. They were enlarged in 187 1, at a cost of ^^410 ; 
and a schoolmaster's house built, at a cost of ^270. In connection witli the 
weighing machine trust, a deed was executed August 15th, 1S05, in which it was 
declared "that ^^20 of the profits should annually be applied (as heretofore) towards 
the maintenance and support of the Protestant Sunday School in Bromsgrove, for 
the better instruction and education of the poor of the parish, in the principles and 
duties of the Christian religion, according to the Church of England." In 181 2, the 
amounts received at the machine appear to have been paid monthly by the man in 
charge, to Mr. John Taylor, the acting trustee, and expended yearly about July 20th, 
by ^20 per year " for a salary to the organist, and the remainder, be what it may, to 
the Sunday School." In 1868, the Local Board purchased the machine and building 
of the trustees, for the sum of ;^35, and a meeting of the latter body was held 
on November 12th, 1868, for the purpose of finally closing the accounts connected 
therewith. After discharging all liabiUties, there remained a surplus of ^£2^ los., 
which they resolved to apportion as follows : — To the Bromsgrove Town Schools, 



144 BROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

£io; to the Catshill Schools, £io ; and to the Lickey Schools, £'^ los. The 
sundry liabilities amounted to ^^9 los., making up the total paid to the trustees 
by the Local Board. A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. A. Palmer, for his 
gratuitous services for many years as honorary secretary and treasurer. It was some- 
what a curious coincidence that Mr. Walter Brooke should have been chairman 
at this meeting, and that his grandfather, Mr. William Brooke, was present at the 
first meeting, and chiefly instrumental in establishing the machine, in November, 
1794, and also the Sunday School. The income derived from the machine prior to 
the existence of the railway was very considerable, and the trustees, during a period 
of upwards of 70 years, contributed largely to the support of the schools, and other 
deserving objects of the parish. In 1831, ^40 was paid to the schools; in 1832, 
;^5o ; in 1833, £s° > ^"^ in 1842, p/^30 ; but now that coal, &c., is chiefly brought 
by rail, the present site of the machine is inconvenient, consequently its income has 
lessened of late years. The last trustees were Mr. Walter Brooke (chairman), 
Messrs. Richard Dunn, Alfred Palmer, and George Dipple. 

We are informed by one who attended the school when held at the Town Hall, 
that it was no uncommon thing to see boys driven by one of their parents with 
a stout stick to school, or brought by the father by the collar of the coat. Discipline 
was maintained by the use of " the logger " — a long, round piece of wood, attached 
to a chain, the one end of the chain being locked round the leg of the refractory 
boy, who was obliged to hold up the wood in his right hand. Any boy punished 
with the logger had to walk to church with it fastened on his leg, his coat being 
turned inside out ; and in this manner he stood during service in front of the pulpit. 
This instrument of punishment is now in the possession of Mr. 'William Ledbury. 
The birch rod was also used and stoutly administered by the vicar or curate-in-charge 
in deserving cases, on the bare back of the boy whilst he was being carried on the 
back of another up and down the schoolroom. A youth named Riley was the Last 
who was flogged in this manner. The punishment was inflicted by the Rev. J. N. 
Harward, in 1836, in the boys' schoolroom, after the afternoon service in church. 
The lad was then expelled the school, and was some time afterwards transported 
beyond the seas. At a meeting of the School Management Committee, held on 
November 26th, 1830, it was resolved, "That two or more of the committee do 
always attend at the Sunday School during the whole time of instruction, morning 
and afternoon, to see that the business of the school is regularly and efiiciently 
conducted." In February, 1831, it was resolved to make a trial of 24 boys on the 
"National system" in the Sunday Schools. The children attended church every 
Sunday morning and afternoon, and were mostly stowed away under the tower on a 
series of graduated seats, where probably they could hear very little and see less. In 
front of these seats, which were called the " dog kennel," sat for many years, during 



lis HISTOKY AND ANTIQUITIES. I45 

service, one John Price, with cane in hand, ready — and always willing — to administer 
justice to offenders. The seats were placed here in 1824, and completely blocked 
up the western entrance, and converted it into a receptacle for rubbish. Other boys 
sat in the chancel on forms and on the steps below the communion rail. For many 
years Mr. J. Richardson was superintendent of the Sunday Schools, but he retired 
from the post in 183 1, and received the best thanks of the committee. He was 
succeeded by Thomas Banner. ]\Iary Price was superintendent of the girls' school 
for many years, and in the cemetery is a gravestone — 

OF 

MARY PRICE, 

FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS 

SUPERINTENDANT 

OF THE GIRLS 

CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL, 

WHO DIED JUNE 5TH, 1872, 

AGED 79 YEARS. 



"TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD 

BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT TRUSTETH 

IN HIM." 

Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then 

Have nothing else to fear. 
Make you His service your delight, 

Your wants shall be His care. 

Before schools were erected at Catshill and the Lickey the children from these 
districts attended the Bromsgrove schools. As the morning school began at half-past 
eight in the summer, and half-past one in the afternoon, the children brought their 
dinners with them in bags slung over their shoulders. Then, as now, all boys were 
not honest, and occasionally a dinner was stolen and consumed by another ; but as 
experience begets wisdom, those who had been once robbed followed the example 
shewn by the bride with the water of the well of St. Keyne. "They took their 
dinners to church," and during a long service it was not uncommon to see them 
having a bite at an apple dumpling or piece of cake. Boys were rewarded by cards, 
having a text of scripture on the one side, each card representing one penny in 
value ; but it was found that at the end of the year the boy who had the most 
money standing to his credit in the books, had, perhaps, no cards, and 7'ice versa ; 
and, upon enquiry, it was ascertained that the boys amused themselves in church by 
tossing up for their cards, accordingly they were discontinued. During the time the 
school was held at the old Town Hall it was visited, about 1820, by the then Bishop 
of ^^'orcester, who singled out 10 of the most promising boys and heard them read. 
One, if not more, of the bishop's old pupils, is still living. 



146 JiROMSGROVE CHURCH i 

At a school committee meeting, held at the Town Hall, on October 20th, (?) 
1832, "a communication was made from the Earl of Plymouth, of his lordship's 
munificent intention of giving the children of the Sunday School a dinner of roast 
beef and plum pudding, on the occasion of the arrival at Hewell of their Royal 
Highnesses the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria, and of his wish that the 
children should be so disposed in some suitable place as that the Princess may 
have a distinct view of them in passing." The old worsted factory was utilized 
to dine the children, and a committee appointed to carry out the details. The 
children were ranged on the right side of the Worcester Road, beginning at 
Dyer's Bridge. 

Much of the time spent in school was devoted to teaching the children their 
letters, and to write. Mr. Brettell had a class of the most orderly of the elder boys, 
who were taught by him writing, &c., on Sunday and other evenings. Of course, 
education was not so general as now, and Sunday was to a great extent devoted to 
the teaching of those subjects which a child now learns at the National or Board 
School. 

It was the custom in the school to provide entertainments on fair days for the 
girls attending the school. In the minute book of the school is this resolution, on 
July 23rd, 1832, "That it is expedient that the entertainment given to the girls 
at the schools, for the purpose of keeping them out of the fair on the fair days, 
be continued, and that the treasurer do pay ^3 out of the funds of the school 
annually for that purpose." The entertainments consisted of a good tea, with games 
afterwards, at Break-back Hill, or other suitable place. Children who went to the 
fair, after attending the " treat," forfeited the tickets standing to their credit in 
the superintendent's book. 

The centenary of Sunday Schools was celebrated in Bromsgrove by a tea 
meeting, held under the auspices of the congregation of the parish church, at the 
Corn Exchange and in the Assembly Room adjoining, on "Wednesday evening, June 
30th, 1880. Upwards of 300 sat down. The Vicar (the Rev. Canon Murray, M.A.) 
presided at a well-attended public meeting which followed. The Rev. C. A. Dickins 
delivered a lengthy and interesting address on the subject of the Sunday Schools 
generally, being followed by Mr. W. A. Cotton, with a paper on the origin of 
the movement in Bromsgrove. Mr. Ledbury also gave a very interesting address, 
during which he exhibited, amidst no small curiosity, the identical " logger," or block 
of wood, which in the " good old days " was used as mentioned. The proceedings 
were interspersed with some capital singing by the choir, and altogether a very 
agreeable evening was spent. 

White metal Sunday School Centenary Commemoration Medals were afterwards 
given to all the teachers. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. I47 

The rules for the Sunday School scholars are as follows :— 

1. The school will commence punctually at half-past nine in the morning, and 
at half-past two in the afternoon. 

2. That no scholar be admitted to the school under the age of six years, 
except to the infant school, when they may be admitted at the age of four years. 

3. All scholars will be admitted to the class-room after confirmation, and not 
before. 

4. That any scholar staying away from school one Sunday without giving a 
satisfactory explanation to the teacher, forfeit a day's marks ; and any scholar 
staying away from school for four Sundays in succession, without giving a 
satisfactory explanation to the superintendent, forfeit all marks. 

5. Marks will be given morning and afternoon, according to behaviour, 
attendance, and diligence in learning the lessons during tlie week. 

6. Marks will be forfeited, at the discretion of the superintendent, for ill 
behaviour either in church or sch jol. 

7. No scholar will be admitted to the annual treat, whose conduct has been 
unsatisfactory, or who has been irregular in attendance during the year. 

8. The prizes will be given at a public meeting, soon after Christmas. Three 
will be given to each class, and they will consist of Bibles, Prayer Books, and 
Hymn Books, unless the successful candidates can prove to the sui)erintendent 
that they already possess those books. 

No scJioIar's name will be placed on the hooks before beinf:; baptized. 

And for the teachers — 

1. That no person be admitted to the school as teacher witliout the sanction of 
the vicar. 

2. That teachers be careful to set a good example of punctualitv to the 
scholars by being in their places in school five minutes before the time appointed 
for commencement (9.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.) 

3. All teachers unable to attend school, are expected to give timely notice 
to their superintendent. 

4. In case of the absence of any scholars, the teachers of the classes to which 
they belong are requested to enquire, in the course of- the week, tlie reason 
for such absence ; or, if unable to do this, to give the name and address of 
the absentee to the superintendent, which will be forwarded on Monday morning 
to the clergyman of the school. 

5. That all teachers attend the preparation class on Friday evenings, at eight 
o'clock, when the lesson for the following Sunday afternoon will be giAcn by one 
of the clergy. 



148 RROMSGROVF, CITURCH : 

6. That there be catechising in churcli on the third Sunday in the month, and 
on the fifth Sunday, when there happens to be five Sundays in the month. That 
teachers always attend church on these occasions, and that on other Sundays 
they arrange to be present alteniately. 

7. That all teachers walk with their respective classes to church. 

8. That supernumeraries be appointed to act in the place of absent teachers. 

9. That each class sliall consist of not more than twelve, and not less than 

eight scholars. 

All ieachen arc expected to he regular eoinnnniicants. 

The present superintendents are — 

Boys' school : Mr. George NichoUs and Mr. \^ . H. Lewis. 
Girls' school : Miss Dunn and Miss E. Scott. 

The following is a copy of the trust deed : — 

We, the Very Reverend the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of 
Christ and the Blessed Mary, the A-Trgin, of Worcester, Appropriators of (amongst 
other hereditaments) the Rectory or Parsonage and Glebe Lands of the Parish of 
Bromsgrove, in the County of AVorcester ; and We, the Right Honorable William 
Pitt Earl Amherst and John Drummond, Esquire (Devisees in trust of a Lease 
granted by the said Dean and Chapter to us of the said Rectory or Parsonage 
and Glebe Lands, bearing date on or about the twenty-third day of June, one 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, named in the last will and testament of 
The Right Honorable Other Archer, late Earl of Plymouth, deceased, for the benefit 
of The Honorable Robert Henry Clive, of Hewell Grange, in the Counties of 
Worcester and Warwick, and Lady Harriet Clive, his wife) ; and We, the said Robert 
Henry Clive and Lady Harriet Clive, under the authority of an Act passed in the 
fifth year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, intitled "An Act for affording 
further facilities for the Conveyance and Endowment of Sites for Schools," and 
of another Act made and passed in the eighth year of the Reign of Her said 
Majesty, intitled "An Act to secure the terms on which Grants are made by Her 
Majesty out of the Parliamentary Cirant for the Education of the Poor, and to 
explain the Act of the fifth year of the Reign of Her present Majesty for the 
Conveyance of Sites for Schools," Do hereby freely and voluntarily, and without any 
valuable consideration, grant and convey to the Vicar of the Parish of Bromsgrove 
for the time being and the Churchwardens of the same Parish for the time being, 
All that piece or parcel of Land as the same is now staked and marked out, and 
shewn with the abuttals and boundaries thereof in the Plan drawn on the margin of 
these Presents, containing two roods and nineteen perches or thereabouts, adjoining 
to Bromsgrove Church Yard, in the Parish of Bromsgrove, part of which said Land, 



ITS HISTORY AND AXTIQUrilES. 149 

containing one rood and nineteen perches, was given by the said Late Earl ot 
Plymouth in his lifetime, for the purpose of erecting a School thereon, and the said 
Dean and Chapter consented to such Gift, and upon part of which said Land a 
school has several years since been erected, but no (Irant or Conveyance thereof has 
ever been executed, and all our and each of our right, title, and interest to and 
in the same Land and premises and every part thereof. To hold the same unto and 
to the use of the said Vicar of Bromsgrove and his successors, and the Church- 
wardens of the said Parish and their successors for the time being, for the purposes 
of the said Acts ; And upon trust to permit the said premises and all I5uildings 
thereon erected, or to be erected, to be for ever hereafter approi)riated and used as 
and for a School for the education of Children and Adults, or Children only of the 
laboring, manufacturing, and other poorer classes of and in the Parish of Bromsgi-ove 
aforesaid, and for the erection of a Uwellinghouse for the Teacher or 'i'eachers 
of the said School, and for no other purpose, and which said School shall always be 
in unison with and conducted upon the principles and in furtherancx' ot the ends 
and designs of the incorporated National Society for jjromoting the education of the 
Poor in the principles of the Established Church ; and subject to and in conformity 
with the declaration aforesaid, the said School and premises shall be directed, 
controlled, governed, and managed in manner hereafter specified, that is to say : the 
Minister for the time being of the said Parish of Bromsgrove shall have the sole 
care, order, and direction of the moral and religious Instruction of the Scholars 
attending the said School, but in all other respects the general management, direction, 
and government of the said School and Premises shall be vested in and exercised by 
a Committee, consisting of the Minister of the said Parish for the time being, 
his Curate or Curates (if the Minister shall appoint him or them upon the said 
Committee), and also of the Minister of Catshill Chapel, the Churchwardens of the 
said Parish of Bromsgrove for the time being (if Members of the Church of 
England), and of Fourteen other Persons, Members of the Church of England, 
Residents, or having a beneficial interest to the extent of a life estate at the least, 
in real property situated in the said Parish, and Subscribers in tlie current year 
to the amount of ten shillings at the least to the said School ; the said last mentioned 
fourteen persons to be elected annually in the month of December or January 
by Subscribers to the said School to the amount of ten shillings i)er annum at 
least, and qualified in other resi)ects as the Persons to be clecfed : So, however, that 
no default of election or vacancy during any current year shall jirevent the other 
Members of the Committee from acting until the next annual election, or until 
the vacancies shall be otherwise supplied. And wp; do dixi.aki: that no person 
shall be appointed, or shall act as a Master or Mistress of the said School, who shall 
not be a Member of the Church of England. The \'icar for the time being shall be 



15° IJROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

Chairman (if present), and when not present, any other Member of the Committee 
selected by the members present shall preside, and in case of an ecjuality of votes 
the Chairman for the time being shall have a second and casting vote. And we do 
FURTHER DECLARE that the Said School shall be at all times open to the inspection 
of the Inspector or Inspectors for the time being appointed or to be appointed 
in conformity with the Order in Council bearing date tlie tenth day of August, 
one thousand eight hundred and forty. And we do hereby for ourselves, our heirs, 
executors, and administrators, covenant with the said Vicar and Churchwardens and 
their successors, that notwithstanding any act or default of ours, or any of our 
Ancestors, We have good right to assure the said premises to the said Vicar and 
Churchwardens and their Successors in manner aforesaid. And that the said 
premises shall at all times hereafter be held and enjoyed upon the trusts and 
in manner aforesaid without interruption from and free from all encumbrances by us 
or our heirs, or any person lawfully claiming under or in trust for us or them or any 
of our Ancestors. And that We and our heirs, and all persons claiming under or in 
trust for us or them or any of our Ancestors, shall upon every request, and at 
the expense of the said Vicar and Churchwardens and their Successors, make 
and perfect all such further assurances of the said premises as may be required 
by them for conveying the same to the use of the said Vicar and Churchwardens 
and their Successors in manner aforesaid. In witness whereof the said Dean and 
Chapter have hereunto caused their corporate Seal to be affixed, and the said other 
conveying parties have hereunto set their hands and seals this twelfth day of April, 
one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven. 

Amherst, (l.s.) John (l.s.) Drummond. 

(l.s.) R. H. Clive. Harriet (l.s.) Clive. 

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered by the within-named Earl Amherst, in the 

presence oi James Swiff, Groom of the Chamber to Earl Amherst. 
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered by the within-named John Drummond, in the 

presence of William Weight, Thomas Tovey, Clerks to Messrs. Oddie and 

Co., Solicitors, i8, Carey Street, London. 
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered by the within-named Robert Henry Clive and 

Lady Harriet Clive, in the presence of James Tomson, of Alvechurch, 

Worcestershire. 

The deed is endorsed on the back as follows : — 

Whereas, since the execution of the within Deed, the Committee of Council on 
Education has, upon the application of the Managers of the within School, agreed to 
authorize the payment of a sum of money out of the fund voted by Parliament for 
Public Education in Great Britain, to be expended in and about the enlargement of 



ITS HISTORY AND AXTIt^UniES. 151 

the said School, upon the condition of receiving such a declaration as hereinafter set 
forth ; Now therefore it is declared and agreed by the persons undersigned, being 
a Majority of the Committee of Managers of the said School for the time being, 
that notwithstanding anything contained in the within Deed, so soon as any such 
money shall have been paid to the said Managers for the ])urpose aforesaid, all 
the provisions of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, which constitute a Public 
Elementary School, shall apply to the School constituted under this Deed and 
be in force therein, and shall continue to be so applied thereto until the Committee 
of Management of the said School pass a Resolution at a meeting composed of 
a majority of the Managers for the time being to repay the grant so made as 
aforesaid, and until the said Committee shall accordingly repay that amount to the 
Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for the time being, and that thenceforth the 
aforesaid declaration whereby this School shall be constituted a Public Elementary 
School within the meaning of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, shall forthwith 
cease to be of any effect so far as regards the Committee of Council on Education 
or the Education Department. 

As Witness our hands and seals, this . . . day of . . . one thousand 
eight hundred and seventy-two. 

George ^V. Murray, (l.s.) Vicar. 

Wm. Holyoake, (l.s.)" 

Alfred Bennett, (l.s.) 

Jno. R. Horton, (l.s.) 

Samuel Saywell, (l.s.)^ 

Walter Brooke, (l.s.) 

Robert Cordell, (l.s.) 

Joseph Amphlett, (l.s.) 

Richard Dunn, (l.s.) 

G. W. Gibson. (l.s.) 

Signed, Sealed, and DeUvered by the said George W. Murray, A\'illiam 
Holyoake, Alfred Bennett, John Robeson Horton, Samuel Saywell, AV'alter 
Brooke, Robert Cordell, Joseph Amphlett, Richard Dunn, and George 
William Gibson, in the presence of 

Henry Wright, 

Clerk to Messrs. Scott and Horton, 
Solicitors, 

Bromsgrove. 



152 liKOMSGROVK CHURCH 



^^c gemcfcxn?. 




[Y an Order in Council, dated June 25th, 1856, burials were ordered 
to be discontinued from and after January ist, 1857, in the parish 
church and churchyard of Bromsgrove, and in the Baptists', Wesleyans', 
and Independent burial grounds, with certain exceptions. On November 24th, 1855, 
the following notice was issued : — " We hereby convene a meeting of the A^estry of 
this Parish, to be held at the Town Hall, within the said Parish, at eleven o'clock 
in the morning of Monday, the third day of December next, for the purpose of 
determining whether a Burial Ground shall be provided for the said Parish, under 
the provisions of the Acts 15 and 16 Vict. c. 85, 16 and 17 Vict. c. 134, and 18 and 
19 Vict. c. 128. And if it be resolved by the Vestry that such Burial Ground shall 
be provided, to appoint not less than three, or more than nine persons, being rate- 
payers of the Parish, to be the Burial Board of such Parish." 

T. D. Thomas, "j 

Alfred Palmer, J> Churchwardens. 

Hugh Phillips, j 

Besj. Johnson, ) 

,„ ■ ^ > Overseers. 

Walter Brooke, j 

The meeting was accordingly held, the Rev. Mr. Villers in the chair. It was 
proposed by Mr. George Dipple, and seconded by Mr. A. Huxley, "That a New 
Burial Ground be provided by this parish, under the ])rovisions of the Acts relating 
thereto, as referred to in the foregoing notice."' It was further resolved that " nine 
ratepayers be appointed the Burial Board for this parish."' 

The first meeting of the Board was held in the Town Hall, on December 
2ist, 1855. 

At a meeting held January nth, 1856, directions were given to the clerk to 
apply for terms and price of part of the present cemetery, which had an area of 
6a. or. 37p., and on May 21st, it was agreed to i)urchase the land, at a cost of 
^904 8s., including ^587 is. 6d. received by the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, 
and ^274 2s. 6d. paid to the Baroness Windsor for her interest, the land being 
glebe land, and leased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to her ladyship. 



ITS HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES. 1 53 

The entrance lodge, lich gates, &:c., cost ;^985 13s. 5d. ; laying out the ground, 
and planting shrubs, &c., ;^378 los. ; architect's commission and law charges, 
^235 14s. yd., or a total of ^2504 6s., to pay which sum a loan of ;^"25oo 
was obtained. 

In ^'■The Civil Efigineer a fid Architects^ Journal^'' for 1S58, we find the following 
account of the " New Cemetery, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire " :— 

For the last few years, the attention of architects has been much devoted to the 
arrangement of cemeteries. This has been principally caused by the prohibition of 
intramural interment ; and in consequence, a gradual improvement has taken place in 
the laying out of cemeteries. But, notwithstanding, there are many which present 
such injudicious features, that there is ample room for improvement in the designs, 
both with regard to the economising of the ground, and the rendering them more 
appropriate for their purpose. 

We think a great error has been committed in the almost universal endeavour 
to give to a cemetery the appearance of a highly ornamental garden ; it should have 
an unmistakeable resemblance to the end for which it is contrived. By our assertion 
we do not mean to infer that it should be like a field, having a path skirting along its 
sides, but that it ought to have a utilitarian character given to it that should at once 
betoken the sacredness attached to its purpose. Therefore the paths should not, as 
a principle, be of a curvilinear or circular figure, but formed in such squares or 
parallelograms as would sufficiently subdivide and diversify the appearance of the 
ground. This judicious arrangement would allow nearly the entirely allotted space 
to be serviceably employed ; and not, as is frequently the case now, where such 
repeated serpentine meanderings are employed, cause one-third of a limited space 
of ground to be rendered unserviceable by the improper figures into which it 
has been inconsiderately divided. 

It is thought by many, that the more curvature the walks possess, the greater is 
the effect and variety given to ornamental grounds, and in some cases it may 
be so ; but when the ground is sufficiently undulating, an equal picturesqueness 
may be obtained, and a result far superior, when the j^aths are straight ; for it 
should be remembered that tlie undulation alone will give a curved appearance 
to the paths, and anything like monotony may be destroyed by skilful and judicious 
planting. 

We have been led to make these remarks, from observing that the ground of the 
New Cemetery, at Bromsgrove, presents a successful adaptation of the style we have 
pointed out. The plan of the plot of ground, containing about six acres, has been 
so designed, with its roads and paths running at right angles ; the only exception to 
the rule being a partly circular road from the lich gate to the centre compartment at 



154 



nROMSGROVE CHURCH 



a junction of the road from the entrance lodge. The fine old church at Bromsgrove, 
now under restoration by Mr. G. G. Scott, is situated on the top of a hill, overlooking 
an extensive tract of country, at the foot of which lays the cemetery. A view of the 
entire ground may be commanded from the fine avenue of lime trees that surround 
the church. 

The lich gate and entrance lodge (represented in Plate X.) of this place of 
burial are extremely striking features ; and as they present variety, both in design, 
treatment, and construction, to the lodge and chapels belonging to another cemetery 
figured in our present journal, we have thought them worthy of being laid 
at the same time before those of our readers who may be occupied in cemetery 
arrangement. 

The lodge, through the gate of which an entrance is obtained from the 
churchyard to the cemetery, is built with red brick, having Bath stone dressings ; 
the roof is covered with blue and red tiles in bands. It contains a waiting or 
Board-room, with an open roof, wrought and stained, living room, kitchen, scullery, 
pantry, &c., and three bed-rooms, with a lean-to or porch attached to the tower 
entrance. 

The lich gate, which is seen from one part of the High Street, is built in a 
cutting, the level of the cemetery being about nine feet above the road at that 
corner, the banks of which are sloped down on each side. The entrance gate is of 
English oak throughout, and it is covered with similar tiles to the lodge, having 
an ornamental cresting at the top. 

The Burial Board of the parish is deserving of much commendation for causing 
so efficient a work as the cemetery to be provided, which is in every respect 
appropriately and substantially carried out, and will long remain an ornament to the 
town. No less praise ought to be given to the architect, Mr. C. H. Cooke, of John 
Street, Bedford Row. 

The entrance lodge and lich gate have been built by Mr. Walker, of Evesham. 
Messrs. Cole and Sharpe were the contractors for the ground work. 



On May ist, 1872, it was decided to enlarge the cemetery, by the purchase of 
4a. 2r. 36p. of land in the rear, at a cost oi ;£()c^2 9s. lod. To this sum ^306 
must be added for laying out the ground, shrubs, &c. ; ^53 9s. 3d. for fencing, 
;^iii 6s. 2d. for solicitor's charges, ;!^ii is. 6d. for surveyor's charges, and 
^58 6s. 6d. for incidental expenses ; total, ^1492 13s. 3d. To meet these payments, 
loans to the extent of ^1500 were borrowed. The first loan is entirely paid off, and 
at the time this work was published ^200 was also paid towards the second sum, 
leaving ;^i3oo still owing by the ratepayers on account of the cemetery. 



-/ 



PLATE X 




ENTRANCE LODGE OF BROMSCROVE CEMETERY 



ITS HISTORY AXB ANTIQUITIES. I55 

The present Board consists of nine members, three retiring yearly by rotation, 
but being eligible for re-election. A meeting is held about the 25th of March 
annually to fill up vacancies. 



In 1858 


there were 


buried 


182 persons 


1859 


)> 


5) • • ■ 


•249 




i860 


>) 


,, ... 


•• 155 




1861 


!) 


,, 


■ 193 




1862 


)> 


,, ... 


.. 183 5 




1863 


5) 


)> • • • 


.. 174 




1864 


)) 


,, 


.. 171 




1865 


)> 


)) • ■ • 


.. 189 




1866 


)) 


,, ... 


.. 167 , 




1S67 


>) 


,, 


• 195 




1868 


>' 


,, ... 


.. 165 , 




1869 


)) 


,, ... 


190 , 




1870 


5) 


,, 


216 , 




1871 


)) 


5) • • ■ 


•• 183 , 




1872 


)) 


)) • • ■ 


•• 142 




1873 


)» 


55 • • • 


196 , 




1874 


)> 


55 • • • 


.. 214 




1875 


>> 


51 ■ ■ ■ 


.. 219 




1S76 


>5 


55 ■ • • 


.. 170 




1877 


55 


55 


.. 161 




1878 


55 


55 • ■ • 


•• 252 




1879 


5) 


55 • • • 


216 , 




iSSo 


J5 


55 

Total ... 


•• 131 






•• 4313 





From a return sent to the Home Office, March Sth, 1876, the total number 

buried in the cemetery since its opening, to 31st December, 1875 (^8 years), was 

as under : — 

In consecrated ground 2529 i40'9 

In unconsecrated ground 854 47^8 

Total 3383 187-17 



Population of the Burial Board district. 11,791, 

T 



1^6 liROMSCROVK CHURCTI : 

Amongst the entries in the registers occur the following notable instances of 
longevity, &c. : — 

Aug. 26th, 1858. — Hannah Phillips aged 91, Widow, Lickey End. 

Dec. 9th, 1862. — William Sanders ,, 90, Needle maker, New Buildings. 

Oct. 31st, 1864.— Elizabeth Clewell ,, 90, Widow, Cemetery Lodge. 

June 25th, 1865. — Hannah I'hillips ,, 93, Dodford. 

Sep. 19th, 1865. — Mary Piarbcr „ 93, Widow, Alms Houses. 

•Jan. 31st, 1867.— Elizabeth Wright „ 93, \Vidow, Station Street. 

Nov. 2 1 St, 1869. — Alice Johnson „ 90, Widow, Strand. 

„ 29th, 1869.— Elizabeth Morgan ,, 90, Widow, Woodcote. 

Mar. 27th, 1870. — Christiana Cotrill „ 93, Bewell Head. 

Jan. i8th, 1871.— Charles Brooke ,, 90, Brazier, High Street. 

,, 19th, 1872.— Joseph Lacy '. „ 99, Butcher, Union House. 

„ ist, 1875. — Thomas Munn „ 94, Nailer, High Street. 

„ 6th, 1875. — Elizabeth Chesterton... „ 92, Sidemoor. 
May loth, 1875. — James f.Lason „ loi. Union House. 

„ 22nd, 1875.-— Ann Rea „ 100, Alms Houses. 

April 25th, 1877. — George Clements „ 91, Gardener, Station Street. 

Dec. 4th, 1867.— Lousia King, found dead in a field at Park Gate, November 

24th, 1867. 
July ist, 1872. — A man, unknown, found dead (hung) at the Lickey. 
Mar. 23rd, 1878.— A man, unknown, who died suddenly in the Strand. (See order 
book). 
In the order book is this note : " May 31st, 1878. This body was exhumed (for 
the purpose of identification), in the presence of Superintendent Tyler, W. S. Batten, 
JNI.D., Mrs. Merry (the supposed widow), (S:c. ; but the result was not satisfactory, 
the body not being clearly identified."' 

On January 6th, 1858, the cemetery was consecrated, and on the day following 
the first interment took place— Constance Voila Sanders, aged i year, daughter of 
F. H. Sanders, The Mount, Bromsgrove ; Rev. W, Villers clergyman, and Joseph 
Rose sexton— and on the loth, Sarah Hedges, aged 2 years j and on the 14th, John 
Adams, of Perry Hall, one of the oldest and most influential inhabitants of the 
parish. Mr. Adams died on the 7th of January, at the advanced age of 91. To 
his memory the Cemetery Cross was erected, by the Rev. Thomas Housman, 
Incumbent of Catshill, one of his executors, and Dr. CoUis, who contributed one- 
third of the expense. The design was furnished by Mr. W. Prosser, the clerk of the 
works during the church restoration. 

At the base of the column are the four symbols mentioned in Ezekiel i. 10, and 
Rev. iv. 7, the name and death-date of Mr. Adams, the date of the consecration of 



JTg ttiiiORV A.NJJ AKiiQUtTlEti, "i<7 

the cemetery, and the text, i Cor. xv. 55, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, 
where is thy victory ? " on aUernate faces. 

The inscriptions and emblems on the pediments are as follows : — On the south 
side, a small Latin cross, with the motto of the Emperor Constantine beneath it, 
" In hoc signo vinces." — In this sign shalt thou conquer. 

On the east side, the Alpha and Omega, interlaced ; beneath, '' Ego Resurrectio 
et Vita."— I am the Resurrection and the Life. 

On the north side, the I.H.S., or the first three letters of the Greek word for 
Jesus ; beneath, " Beati Mortui in Domino." — Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord. 

On the west side, XP, the two first letters of the Greek name of Christ ; beneath, 
" Ego Via, Veritas, Vita."— I am the Way, the Truth, the Life." 



The following are the rules and regulations of the cemetery : — 

I. — The registrar's or coroner's certificate must be given up before interment. 
In cases of children still-born, a certificate from a surgeon, midwife, or some other 
responsible person will be required. 

2. — The excavation, removal of surplus soil, masonry and smith's work, for 
bricked graves and vaults, to be borne by the parties requiring the same, and all 
cramps used for putting together stone-work above ground, to be of copper, 

3. — The mound over any grave not to be left more than six inches high 
immediately after interment. 

4. — The Board reserve the right of allotting the spaces on each side of the 
pathway leading from the lodge to the circular mound, the same being intended for 
vaults and bricked graves only. 

5. — Coflins of wood only shall be used in unpurchased gra\es, no plank or any 
other description of covering except earth permitted, and only one body shall be 
buried in each of such graves at one time, unless the bodies be those of members of 
the same family, and every such grave for the first interment shall not be less than 
seven feet deep for a child under 12 years. 

6. — No body shall be buried in any vault or walled grave unless the coffin be 
separately entombed in an air-tight manner ; that is by properly cemented stone 
or brick-work, which shall never be disturbed. 

7. — No unwalled grave shall be re-opened within fourteen years after the burial 
of a person above 12 years of age, unless to bury another member of the same 
family, in which case a layer of earth not less than one foot thick shall be left 
undisturbed above the previously buried coffin. No coffin shall be buried in any 



I 58 IIROMSGROVE CHURCH : 

unwalled grave within four feet of the ordinary level of the ground, unless it contains 
the body of a child under 1 2 years of age, when it shall not be less than three feet 
below that level. 

8. — Before the erection of any gravestone, monument, or memorial, a drawing 
thereof and a copy of the proposed inscription must be submitted to the Board for 
their approval. After erection they must be kept in order by the owner. The 
number of the grave space must be legibly fixed on every memorial. 

9. — No brick or stone-work nor any memorial or monument, other than a head- 
stone, will be allowed in or over any grave the exclusive right of burial in which has 
not been purchased, and any head-stone erected over any such grave may be removed 
by direction of the Board after it has been up 14 years. 

10. — The cemetery, by permission of the Board, is open to the public from 
7.0 a.m. until 9.0 p.m. from Lady-day to Michaelmas-day ; and from 8.0 a.m. until 
5.0 p.m. from Michaelmas-day to Lady-day. Children under 12 years of age will 
not be admitted, unless under the care of some responsible person ; and all persons 
are required to keep on the walks, unless visiting a friend's grave, and to refrain 
from touching the shrubs and flowers. 

II. — Small shrubs, plants, or flowers may, subject to the approval of the Board, 
be placed over any grave, but must not be cut or carried away without the consent of 
the Board, and the Board reserves the right to prune, cut down, or dig up and 
remove any of the shrubs, plants, or flowers at any time when in their opinion 
the same have become unsightly or overgrown, or when necessary for the purpose of 
allowing the grave to be again used. 

12. — No carriages drawn by horses, and no dogs or other animals will be allowed 
to enter the cemetery, and no person will be permitted to smoke therein. 

13. — Every person who shall wilfully destroy or damage any of the fences, 
shrubs, or trees, or injure any gravestone, monument, or memorial, or unlawfully 
disturb any persons assembled there for the purpose of burying any body therein, or 
be guilty of any disorderly conduct, will be proceeded against. 

Mr. H. Barrett is clerk to the Board, at a salary of ^'15 per annum. 



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BKOMSGROVE : 
PRINTED AT THE '' ISI E S S E N G E R' 
HIGH STREET. 



OFFICE,